The only cause of a hearing loss that can be completely prevented is a noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Be aware of the noise around you, especially if you work in a factory or mine, with machinery or anywhere with loud and constant noise. Even an extreme, short noise like a firecracker or gunshot can cause a permanent hearing loss in an instant. Hearing protection is extremely important when working in noisy environments and must be worn every time a noise zone is entered. A noise zone is any area where the noise exceeds 85dB(A).
There are many different types of hearing protectors. The main categories are:
Insert ear plugs: these are inserted completely into the ear canal. It can be disposable or reusable. Depending on the type of earplug, it can be an universal fit (foam ear plugs) or custom made for each individual.
Semi-insert ear plugs: these consist of two ear plugs held in place by a head band over the head.
Ear muffs: this type has sound-attenuating muffs that cover the whole ear and the headband fits over the head.
Considerations when choosing hearing protectors
They must be comfortable
They must be fitted correctly
They must attenuate sound effectively
They must be practical for the environment you will be wearing them in
They must be cost-effective and user-friendly
They must be SABS approved
The worker must select the protector of his / her choice
Hearing protectors can be ordered at our Hearing Centers. All our hearing protectors are custom made, SABS approved and are fitted with noise filters that are laser calibrated so they cannot be altered. Contact us for more information.