SNR - Hearing Protection

SNR - Hearing Protection

SNR ‘signal-to-noise ratio’ is a measurement of sound level protection applied to Ear Defence. It is a common mistake to purchase ear defence with the highest SNR rating though there are also dangers in over protecting a user as much as there are dangers in under protecting a user. All certified Ear Defence will come with an SNR rating and the calculations are very simple to apply. The SNR rating of the Ear Protection is subtracted from your current noise level reading. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that all worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss. For example, if your current working noise levels are 105db, ear defence with an SNR of 30db would bring the noise levels to the user at a very comfortable 75db. When deploying ear defence it is important to understand that over protecting can isolate the user and consequently effect their work output as much as under protecting can still leave the ear exposed to some high noise level so it is vital to select the correct SNR level of hearing protection for your very specific environment.

How do I know what noise levels I have in my work place?

There are many HSE registered Noise Survey specialists that can visit your place of work for a full Noise Assessment. This will ensure you have all of the correct data allowing the procurement of the correct hearing protection.

What noise level is safe for my workers?

When deploying Ear Defence you should be aiming for between 70db-80db at the ear. This is a comfortable and normal working noise level.

My staff are OK with cheap roll down Ear Plugs.

This maybe the case but are they being inserted into the ear canal correctly to give the optimum hearing defence? By deploying an ear defender with a headband there can be little doubt that the user is protected at all times.

My staff need Hearing Protection in a noisy environment but often leave the area to communicate by removing their Ear Plugs / Ear Defenders or at least lift the cups away from the ear to have a conversation?

This is a common problem which can easily be avoided by deploying the correct Ear Defenders with built in PMR radios (walkie talkies) for hands free team communications. With the correct Ear Defence being used there would be no reason to remove the cup from the ear at any time and productivity will be maintained, often improved.

Are their second hand Electronic Ear Defenders available to help with my budget?

When purchasing or even renting technical Ear Defence it is difficult to substantiate the integrity or the certified performance of a product with an unknown history so consequently this is something that we discourage.

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