Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection

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    Get Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, 27NRR, Small, 100/pairs (FUS30S-HP) at Harmony

    Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, NRR 27, Small, 100/pairs

    Howard Leight

    Harmony Price: $119.99
    Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, 27NRR, Small, 100/pairs Easy handling and all-day comfort! Multi-use earplugs provide easy-to-use comfort and protection via patented dual material design.  FlexiFirm stem is...
    FUS30S-HP
    Harmony Price: $119.99
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    Get Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, 27NRR, 100/pairs (FUS-30HP) at Harmony

    Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, NRR 27, 100/pairs

    Howard Leight

    Harmony Price: $109.99
    Howard Leight® by Honeywell Fusion Reusable Earplugs, Corded, 27NRR, 100/pairs Easy handling and all-day comfort! Multi-use earplugs provide easy-to-use comfort and protection via patented dual material design.  FlexiFirm stem is easy to...
    FUS-30HP
    Harmony Price: $109.99
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    Save on 3M E-A-R UltraFit Earplugs, Metal Detectable, Corded, Blue, 200/box 340-4017 at Harmony

    3M E-A-R UltraFit Earplugs, Metal Detectable, Corded, Blue, 200/box

    3M Safety

    Harmony Price: $219.99
      3M E-A-R UltraFit Blue Metal Detectable Foam Ear Plugs, Corded Ball bearings for high detectability! Metal-detectable cord and plug design is ideal for industries such as food and pharmaceutical processing, where it's critical to prevent...
    3M340-4017
    Harmony Price: $219.99
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    Get 3M E-A-R Express Reusable Earplugs, 25 NRR, Uncorded, 200/box R3-2200 at Harmony

    3M E-A-R Express Reusable Ear Plugs, NRR 25, Uncorded, 200/box

    3M Safety

    Harmony Price: $59.99
      3M E-A-R Express Pod Plugs, Uncorded Convenient and clean! Paddle-style stem allows for quick and hygienic insertion. Tips do not need to be rolled - they'll stay clean even if your hands can't. Slow recovery foam goes in comfortably, then...
    R3-2200
    Harmony Price: $59.99
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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

    Harmony Price: $32.99
    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
    Harmony Price: $32.99
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    Get Howard Leight QD1 Quiet Reusable Earplugs, 26 NRR, Cordless, 100/box LAG-QD1 at Harmony

    Howard Leight QD1 Quiet Reusable Ear Plugs, 26 NRR, Cordless, 100/box

    Howard Leight

    Harmony Price: $39.99
      Quiet Reusable Earplugs Patented "no-roll" design is easy to handle and fit. Built-in flexible stem makes insertion and removal quick and easy. Smooth, non-irritating surface provides all day comfort. Contoured shape comfortably matches...
    LAG-QD1
    Harmony Price: $39.99
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    Get 3M E-A-R Express Reusable Earplugs, 25 NRR, Corded, 100/box R3-1115 at Harmony

    3M E-A-R Express Reusable Ear Plugs, NRR 25, Corded, 100/box

    3M Safety

    Harmony Price: $94.99
      3M E-A-R Express Pod Plugs, Corded Corded, convenient and clean! Clean. Flexible paddle-style grips make insertion quick, clean, and consistent.Tips do not need to be rolled - they'll stay clean even if your hands can't. Comfortable.Slow...
    R3-1115
    Harmony Price: $94.99
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    Get Ear Plug Dispenser, ea 1 XAK301-DD at Harmony

    Ear Plug Dispenser, 100/pair capacity, each

    AK Ltd.

    Harmony Price: $79.99
      Ear Plug Dispenser For Faster, Easier Dispensing. Holds approximately 100 pairs of ear plugs. Made of High Impact PETG is 19x stronger than acrylic. Approved by FDA and NSF for use in Food and Medical areas. Easy loading with top lid...
    XAK301
    Harmony Price: $79.99
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    Get Howard Leight Banded Reusable Earplugs, 25 NRR, 10/box LAG-QB2HYG at Harmony

    Howard Leight Banded Reusable Ear Plugs, 25 NRR, 10/box

    Howard Leight

    Harmony Price: $49.99
      Banded Earplugs Designed for those exposed to intermittent noise. Lightweight and portable, designed for those working in environments with intermittent noise hazards. Patented design prevents ear pods from touching dirty or contaminated...
    LAG-QB2HYG
    Harmony Price: $49.99
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    Get 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs, 29 NRR, Corded, 200/PK S3111101 at Harmony

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

    3M Safety

    Harmony Price: $57.99
      3M E-A-R Classic Corded Ear Plugs Easy on, Easy off! Foam is nonirritating; slow recovery provides comfort with little pressure on the ear for all day comfort. Flame Resistant and Moisture Resistant. So, no worries about mold or fire...
    S3111101
    Harmony Price: $57.99
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    Get Peltor Optime 98 Headband Earmuffs H9A, 25 NRR, ea BOCS1440 at Harmony

    Peltor Optime 98 Headband Ear Muffs H9A, NRR 25, each

    3M Safety

    Harmony Price: $18.99
    $15.99
      3M Peltor Optime 98 Over-the-head Ear Muffs Stainless steel headband for consistent force and effective hearing protection. For noise levels up to 98dBA   Stainless steel construction resists bending and warping. Earcup pivot...
    BOCS1440
    Harmony Price: $18.99
    $15.99
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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

    Harmony Price: $23.99
      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
    Harmony Price: $23.99
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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

    Harmony Price: $19.99
      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
    Harmony Price: $19.99
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    Get DuraPlugs Detectable Disposable Foam Earplugs, 32 NRR, Corded 100 pairs LB14322 at Harmony

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

    DuraPlugs

    Harmony Price: $42.99
      DuraPlug Metal Detectable Foam Ear Plugs Ideal for food processing environments! Keep lost PPE from contaminating food products and processing with metal-detectable ear plugs and prevent costly recalls. Metal detectable cord and ear plugs...
    LB14322
    Harmony Price: $42.99
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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

    Harmony Price: $21.99
      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
    Harmony Price: $21.99
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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

    Harmony Price: $24.99
    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
    Harmony Price: $24.99

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.