Written on 08/12/23 by Linda T.
PPE Earplugs: the best protection for your hearing
Personal hearing protection devices are designed to create a barrier against external noise and all other bothersome noises in the working environment that could be hazardous to a person's health.
For this reason, many working environments use earmuffs: safety comes first, and safety devices can protect against many risks. The ear canal is sensitive; even wrong noise exposure can cause permanent problems.
Diseases related to the ear canal are especially common in construction, metalworking, and jobs involving continuous noise. Many times, in these circumstances, hearing damage may even manifest itself after years and be too complex to treat.
Therefore, prevention through anti-noise earplugs that meet the standards of current regulations and manage to protect workers is essential. The primary reference to follow is Legislative Decree 81/2008 on personal protective equipment, which states that it is the employer who must ascertain:
- the noise level
- the exposure limit values
- the effects on worker health and safety
Devices considered essential to protect hearing include:
Earplugs insert Helmets Headphones Earplugs
A particular difference in assessing hearing protection devices is between earplugs for sleeping and occupational earplugs.
Difference between noise-reducing earplugs for sleeping and occupational noise-reducing earplugs
Anti-noise earplugs for sleeping
Professional or work earplugs
Are mainly for personal use (improving sleep quality)
|Must comply with the standards of the laws concerning PPE|
|Do not have to comply with any particular regulations||Must protect the worker from any hearing risk|
Anti-noise devices for personal use (such as earplugs for sleeping) may also include:
- Noise protection earplugs for shooting or hunting / electronic noise protection earplugs
- Motorbike earplugs
Among the anti-noise earplugs intended for work use, we find types of earplugs made of high-quality materials that protect the person even from impulsive or otherwise very loud noises, and the devices on the market must comply with Legislative Decree 81/2008.
A very frequent question in this regard is:
What are the best anti-noise earplugs?
The best anti-noise earplugs can be defined as all those devices that fully comply with current regulations and ensure full ear canal protection for every person.
Two different types of classic earplugs can be distinguished:
- Smooth-surface earplugs
- Self-moulding earplugs
Both have their advantages; smooth-surface earplugs are able to prevent dirt or dust from penetrating, while self-moulding earplugs, as the name suggests, mould themselves to the shape of the ear and offer maximum comfort.
It is also necessary to consider an alternative solution to classic earplugs, especially if these are too large for the ear canal. In this regard, anti-noise earplugs have been designed that facilitate insertion because they mould to the shape of the ear. Also, once inserted, it will be much more practical than standard earplugs because, thanks to the cord, you will not have to worry about losing them.
If, on the other hand, you want to opt for a noise-cancelling earmuff, it is essential to remember that this differs according to its function. If we need to wear the earmuff with a helmet, it will be obligatory to choose the model of the noise-cancelling earmuff.
On the other hand, one can opt for standard earmuffs for the remaining uses.
When choosing the best anti-noise earmuffs, it is necessary to assess the device's sound-insulating power. Let us look at the different capabilities together:
|Up to 20 dB||Lowest hearing threshold|
|20 to 50 dB||Normal power|
|50 to 75 dB||Harmless power (e.g. earplugs 40dB)|
|80 dB (A)||Minimum action value on a normal working day|
|85 dB (A) and above||Ear protection must be used|
|100 dB (A) and above||High noise risk zone: hearing damage within a few minutes|
|160 dB (A) and above||Very high noise risk zone: immediate hearing damage|
Among the best earplugs, we can mention one brand in particular:
3M anti-noise earplugs are considered among the most popular and most appreciated in the world of PPE. Their polymer foam construction ensures that the operator can feel protected throughout the working day.
The best 3M models of earplugs are:
Comfortable, they fit snugly around the ear canal and are perfect for working in environments with hazardous noise levels. They are also made of a slow-expanding foam that allows them to mould to your ear.
Choosing the best earplugs or earmuffs with personal protection in mind is necessary. Good hearing depends mainly on having the right protection; therefore, assessing each feature when purchasing hearing protection PPE is essential.
Hearing protection earplugs where to buy
One of the most frequently asked questions about hearing protection PPE is:
Noise protection earplugs where to buy them?
In our catalogue, you can choose the perfect ear protection earplugs and evaluate the models that will be most comfortable for you and the technical specifications best suited to the type of work you are going to do to guarantee perfect noise reduction.
Protecting your ears is essential in specific jobs, and depending on the sound power you work with, you can choose the perfect protection.
You can then evaluate the type of device to wear between:
However, it is also important to assess the characteristics of the protective device's materials, and among these, you can choose between silicone or polymetric foam devices.
Silicone earplugs are comfortable to wear during a busy working day. Made of soft, hypoallergenic and mouldable silicone material, they provide a good level of comfort because they fit any ear.
In fact, after insertion, the devices expand and mould automatically. The silicone material makes these earplugs reusable: the material allows the devices to be washed with soap and water and reused countless times.
The silicone material also allows the devices to be combined with custom-made earmuffs: they can mould themselves by slowly expanding inside the ear cavity.
Finally, if you need invisible earplugs, you can opt for silicone material, which allows you to make totally colourless earplugs.
Polymer foam earplugs are designed to fit perfectly in the ear canal. Once the device is inserted, it expands, filling the entire surface.
If perfect protection is to be achieved, it is also essential to position the device correctly inside the ear.
This type of material also makes custom-made noise protection earplugs. To be considered custom-made earplugs, the foam must be able to swell after the insertion of the device, occupying all the space and adhering perfectly to the ear.
Finally, foam earplugs are available in disposable, reusable and washable versions.