Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection

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  • Get Ear Muffs w/ Adjustable Headband, 25 NRR, Yellow LB1425Y at Harmony

    Ear Muffs with adjustable Headband, NRR 25, Yellow, each

    DuraPlugs

    $6.99
      Ear Muffs So light you might forget you are wearing them! Lightweight design for all day comfort. Adjustable cup for snug comfortable fit. 3 position adjustable headband. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 25dB Comply to ANSI S3...
    LB1425Y
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    LB1425Y
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    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    25 dB
    $6.99
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    $6.99
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  • Get Foldable Ear Muffs, 34 NRR, Yellow LB1437Y at Harmony

    Foldable Ear Muffs, NRR 34, Yellow, each

    DuraPlugs

    $10.99
      DuraPlug Yellow Foldable Ear Muffs Foldable for easy storage. Lightweight design for all day comfort. Adjustable cup for snug comfortable fit. 3 position adjustable headband. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 34 dB Comply to ANSI S3.19 and...
    LB1437Y
    SKU:
    LB1437Y
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    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    34 dB
    $10.99
    Qty in Cart: 0
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  • Get DuraPlugs Disposable Foam Uncorded Earplugs, 32 NRR, 200 pairs LB14310 at Harmony

    DuraPlugs Disposable Foam Uncorded Ear Plugs, NRR 32, 200/pair

    DuraPlugs

    $26.99
    DuraPlug Uncorded Foam Ear Plugs Tapered shape for easy insertion and removal. Low pressure foam for long wearing comfort. Tapered shape and slow recovery foam make insertion easy. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 32dB. High-visibility orange color,...
    LB14310
    SKU:
    LB14310
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    32 dB
    $26.99
    Qty in Cart: 0
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  • Get DuraPlugs Disposable Foam Earplugs, 32 NRR, Corded 100 pairs LB14311 at Harmony

    DuraPlugs Disposable Foam Ear Plugs, NRR 32, Corded, 100/pair

    DuraPlugs

    $26.99
      DuraPlug Foam Ear Plugs Tapered shape for easy insertion and removal. Low pressure foam for long wearing comfort. Slides in fast and easy. Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 31dB High-visibility orange color to help supervisors see that...
    LB14311
    SKU:
    LB14311
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    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    32 dB
    Corded:
    Yes
    $26.99
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  • Get 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs, 29 NRR, Uncorded, 200/box S3101001 at Harmony

    3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs, NRR 29, Uncorded, 200/box

    3M Safety

    $39.99
    3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plugs Moisture resistant and safe. Made of moisture-resistant, nonflammable, nonirritating, dermatological safe foam. Slow expansion provides low pressure and more comfort. Uncorded style, fits a wide range of ear canals - one...
    S3101001
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    S3101001
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    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    29 dB
    $39.99
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    $39.99
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  • Get Peltor Optime 105 Headband Earmuffs H10A, 30 NRR, ea L3MH10A at Harmony

    Peltor Optime 105 Headband Ear Muffs H10A, NRR 30, each

    3M Safety

    $34.99
      3M Peltor Optime 105 Over-the-head Ear Muffs Stainless steel headband for consistent force and effective hearing protection. For noise levels up to 105 dBA. Stainless steel construction resists bending and warping. "Double-shell" earcups...
    L3MH10A
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    L3MH10A
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    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    30 dB
    $34.99
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  • Get 3M 1110 Foam Ear Plugs, Corded, 100 pairs/box BOCS1110 at Harmony

    3M 1110 Foam Ear Plugs, Corded, NRR 29, 100 pair

    3M Safety

    $24.99
      3M Foam Corded Ear Plugs You'll have a hard time losing these. Corded for convenience and to prevent users from losing their earplugs. Tapered design to fit comfortably, easily in the ear canal. Smooth dirt resistant surface provides...
    BOCS1110
    SKU:
    BOCS1110
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    29 dB
    Corded:
    Yes
    $24.99
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    $24.99
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  • Get Howard Leight Max Single-Use Cordless Earplugs, 33NRR, 200/box LAG-MAX1 at Harmony

    Howard Leight Max Single-Use Cordless Ear Plugs, 33 NRR, 200/box

    Honeywell

    $34.99
        Single-Use Cordless Earplugs The highest attenuation in single-use earplugs! Bell shaped, expanding polyurethane foam for maximum in-ear comfort, especially during long-term wear. Smooth closed cell-foam skin is soil-resistant and...
    LAG-MAX1
    SKU:
    LAG-MAX1
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    33 dB
    $34.99
    Qty in Cart: 0
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  • Get 3M E-A-Rsoft Blasts Ear Plugs, Yellow Neon/Red Flame, Uncorded, 200/box L3M1252 at Harmony

    3M E-A-Rsoft Blasts Ear Plugs, Yellow Neon/Red Flame, NRR 33, Uncorded, 200/box

    3M Safety

    $43.99
      3M E-A-Rsoft Yellow Neon Blast Foam Ear Plugs, Uncorded All-day Comfort and Protection Low pressure, soft slow-recovery foam material helps evenly distribute pressure for all-day comfort. Tapered design to fit in the ear canal snugly,...
    L3M1252
    SKU:
    L3M1252
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    33 dB
    $43.99
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  • Get 3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs, Uncorded, 200/box BOCS1100 at Harmony

    3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs, Uncorded, NRR 29, 200/box

    3M Safety

    $24.99
      3M Foam Ear Plugs Soft foam ear plugs for all day comfort! Tapered design to fit in the ear canal snugly. Ultra smooth and dirt resistant surface for added comfort and hygiene. A good choice for hearing protection in shop environments...
    BOCS1100
    SKU:
    BOCS1100
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    29 dB
    $24.99
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    $24.99
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  • Get Peltor Optime 101 Headband Earmuffs H7A, 27 NRR, ea R3MH7A at Harmony

    Peltor Optime 101 Headband Ear Muffs H7A, NRR 27, each

    3M Safety

    $27.99
      3M Peltor Optime 101 Over-the-head Ear Muffs Stainless steel headband for consistent force and effective hearing protection. For noise levels up to 101 dBA high noise environments: airport runways, construction sites, weapons-testing...
    R3MH7A
    SKU:
    R3MH7A
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    27 dB
    $27.99
    Qty in Cart: 0
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    $27.99
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  • Get Moldex SparkPlugs Earplugs, Cordless, 33NRR, 200/pair LAG-6604 at Harmony

    Moldex SparkPlugs Ear Plugs, Cordless, 33 NRR, 200/pair

    Moldex

    $36.90
      SparkPlug® Foam Ear Plugs Bright, fun colors provide easy compliance checks. Extra soft, extra light foam and tapered design fit snugly and comfortably in the ear canal and seals gently and snugly without unwanted pressure. So,...
    LAG-6604
    SKU:
    LAG-6604
    Availability:
    Ships within 1-2 Business Days
    Noise Reduction Rating (NRR):
    33 dB
    $36.90
    Qty in Cart: 0
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    $36.90
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Hearing Protection

When you need to block noise, we've got the gear. Industrial settings pose some of the highest risks for hearing loss and safety. Getting hearing protection is vital to ensuring your employee's safety. Make hearing protection available for all employees to improve and maintain hearing safety standards. Our safety products put people first and are designed with comfort, functionality, and safety as the focus. Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies offers hearing protection for a wide range of environments and uses, including metal detectable ear plugs for food manufacturing.

Do you need Double Hearing Protection?

To comply with OSHA occupational noise exposure standards, companies are required to limit the amount of noise any one worker is exposed to on the job. For most applications, a single layer of hearing protection will be sufficient. However, double hearing protection may be necessary under certain conditions.

Do you need to communicate while in noise? Trouble fitting your ear plugs? Have dirty hands while working? We have hearing protection to meet your needs and challenges. Provide hearing protection designed for worker comfort and convenience to encourage compliance and maintain safety standards. 

When is Double Hearing Protection Required?

The first step is to know the noise levels your employees encounter each day. Workplace noise measurements are dependent on the specifics of your workplace. Generally, an employee will wear a dosimeter during their shift. The dosimeter measures noise exposure and if you find workers are exposed to an average above 85 decibels (dB) over eight hours, then double hearing protection may be useful along with a required hearing conservation program.

When in an environment above 100 dB, OSHA rules encourage the use of double hearing protection. Some industry specific requirements have a lower standard, requiring double protection above 105 dBa, but OSHA’s guidelines are safest. To comply with all regulations, it best to provide double hearing protection when workplace noise levels exceed 100 dBa in an 8 hour weighted average.

Double Hearing Protection provides a 4 to 8 dB boost, on top of the normal parameters of the ear muffs, for example. Providing ear plugs with ear muffs can reduce noise an additional 85% which leads to a significant reduction in noise-related injuries. The most common form of double hearing protection is the use of ear plugs with ear muffs. 

How do you calculate Noise Reduction Rate? 

For any noise reduction device (earplugs, ear muffs), a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is provided. Peltor Optime 105 Headband Ear Muffs, for example, have an NRR rating of 30.

To determine how NRR rating affect dB, take the NRR number subtract 7 and divide that number by 2.

In our example: (30 – 7) / 2 = 11.5

A worker wearing Peltor Ear Muffs with a 30 NRR will experience an 11.5 dBa reduction in noise. If your workers are exposed to 100 dBa, then with the earmuffs they will be exposed to 88.5 dBa.

If your workplace requires more, then double protection through 3M Classic Ear Plugs will provide an additional 5 dB of protection. By themselves, 3M earplugs have an NRR rating of 29, but when doubled with Peltor Ear Muffs, an additional 5 dB is added to the highest rating.

Noise Reduction Rate Calculation Example

In a workplace with an 8 hour average of 100 dB, let us look at both 3M Ear Plugs and Peltor Ear Muffs:

Peltor Ear Muffs: 30 NRR

3M Ear Plugs: 29 NRR

Double Protection: +5 NRR

Total Protection: 35 NRR

Now, let’s calculate the dB reduction of our dual protected worker with 35 NRR.

dB reduction = (35 – 7) / 2 = 14

A worker in a setting with 100 dB with dual protection will now experience 86 dB over eight hours. This dual protection complies with OSHA’s regulations. Both you and your workers are protected.

Special Cases: When OSHA Requires More Protection

For most workspaces, noise must be below 90 dB over eight hours. However, if your worker experienced STS hearing loss, then more is necessary. To determine if your employee suffered a Standard Threshold Shift (STS), answer 3 questions:

  1. Has your employee suffered a 10dB loss in one or both ears?
  2. Is your employee’s overall hearing level at 25dB?
  3. Is your employees hearing loss work-related?
    1. Under OSHA Guidelines, hearing loss cases assume that the loss occurred at work. The burden of proof lies with employers to prove otherwise.
    2. Hearing loss aggravated by a work environment classifies as work-related hearing loss.

If you answered yes to each question above then more hearing protection is required for that employee. An additional 5 dB of protection will put you in compliance and protect your employees from further hearing loss. What Noise Exposure is Ideal?

Just as too little noise exposure is dangerous, so too is the opposite. Excessive noise reduction can cause accidents related to an inability to hear colleagues, alarms, and a general lack of awareness. If a worker needs to remove hearing protection to listen to their equipment or converse with a colleague, then hearing protection may be excessive.

Ideally, aim to reduce noise to bring exposure down to 75 – 85 dB. The CDC recommends that a single layer of ear protection be used for workplaces with noise levels below 100 dB. Above 100 dB, a dual protection layer may be required to reach the ideal workplace noise exposure.

 

Should You Use Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs?

The quirks of your workplace will determine which hearing protector is best. Only choose hearing protection that allows employees to wear them properly and comfortably for extended periods of time. Here are the main differences:

Ear Muffs

  • May interfere with other safety equipment (glasses, hard hat, respirator)
    • Low profile headbands are designed to prevent interference with hard hats
  • Easier to remove and replace
    • Best for intermittent noise exposure
  • Good for dirty environments
  • Uncomfortable in hot and excessively cold climates

Ear Plugs

  • Comfortable
  • Best for continuous noise exposure
  • Require clean hands to be inserted properly
  • Good for tight spaces
  • Good for extreme temperatures

Ear plugs are the choice of most employees. However, make sure to properly train them on how to insert ear plugs. Below you will find an image (from left to right) of a badly-inserted earplug, a semi-inserted earplug, and a properly-fit earplug.

If earplugs cannot be inserted properly, then earmuffs should be used.

Hearing Protection Matters

For most workspaces, a single layer of properly fitting ear muffs or ear plugs will be sufficient to reach the ideal 75-85 dB of noise exposure. Double hearing protection is recommended for employees working in noise levels above 100 dB over an eight hour period. Ear plugs and ear muffs are the most common form of dual protection, providing an additional 5 dB of protection.

Workplace noise levels only have to be re-evaluated when noise exposure increases beyond what your current protection allows. Annual training should include information on the types of protection provided, fit, and use.