When should you consider using custom molded earplugs?
Hearing protection is no joke. Safe, reliable earplugs must be worn to protect workers from loud environments, but how do you know what style is going to be best?
One option is custom molded earplugs. Let's look at the pros and cons of using custom molded earplugs for your employees.
Pros of Using Custom Molded Earplugs
- Molded to fit each individual
- Comfortable for all-day usage
- Provide a high level of protection
- Great for hard-to-fit employees / atypical ear canal shapes
- Durable and reusable, typically for up to five years per pair
Cons of Using Custom Molded Earplugs
- Requires an ear molding or impression
- Must be properly cleaned and stored
- Can easily get lost if employees are not careful
Custom molded earplugs are going to be a larger initial investment; however, that doesn't mean that they are going to be more expensive overall. it really depends on the situation.
Take a look at the following example.
Let's assume an average price of $30 per box of 200 disposable earplugs. That works out to be $0.15 per pair.
That's quite affordable, but now let's also suppose that each employee goes through four pairs of earplugs per day (accounting for a new pair in the morning and a new pair after three separate breaks throughout the day).
If one employee uses four pairs of earplugs per day, five days a week, 50 weeks per year, that brings us to a total of $150 a year per employee. That could be invested in custom earplugs.
That said, you can save costs without having to go through the trouble and expense of going through the molding process by purchasing reusable earplugs.
The Bottom Line
If your employees only need to wear earplugs once in a while, you might be better off just purchasing regular disposable earplugs.
If your workers frequently work in loud environments and go through several pairs of disposables per day, you might want to consider investing in custom molded earplugs or another type of reusable earplug.
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