Hearing PPE (Hearing Protector)

Published: | Updated: April 21, 2018

Definition - What does Hearing PPE (Hearing Protector) mean?

Hearing personal protective equipment (PPE) or hearing protectors are the devices used to prevent noise induced hearing loss. These devices reduce the noise energy entering and causing harm to the inner ear and are required to be used by employees exposed to noise levels 80 decibels or more over an 8 hour work shift in the weapon and explosive training or operation area, mines, workshops, aircraft maintenance hangers, engine, generator, boiler and compressor rooms etc..

Safeopedia explains Hearing PPE (Hearing Protector)

There are, generally, two types of hearing protectors used: ear muffs (also called ear defenders) and earplugs.

  • Earmuffs - made of thermoplastics and sponge and shaped like a pair of cups. These cups are usually attached on the outer ends of a steel or plastic headband to fit on the top of the external ears
  • Earplugs - there are three types of earplugs depending on the materials they are made from and their shapes.
    1. Foam - made of foam, compressed by fingers to put inside the ear canal, which expands to plug the canal when released
    2. Silicon - made of silicon and rubber. The inner side looks like small ball that fits on the outer ear canal and the rest hang outside. These are often used by swimmers and surfers
    3. Flanged - made of rubber and plastics to fit on the outer ear canal
    4. Made from various eco-friendly materials. This option allows for a personalized fit to individuals ear canal, ensuring total comfort. In most cases, other options such as filters in order to communicate, are available.
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