Earplugs are a popular type of Hearing Protection due to their effectiveness in reducing noise, ease of use and comfort. Earplugs also make it more comfortable for workers to work in noisy environments and focus on the job at hand. At Boost Safety & Workwear, we carry an extensive range of earplugs including disposable, reusable, corded, uncorded and banded Earplugs.
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Earplugs, the Ultimate Choice for Lightweight Noise Protection
Around 28 to 32% of Australians work in environments where they are exposed to loud noise. Industries where noise is common in the day-to-day duties for workers include construction, industrial, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
The problem with regular loud noise exposure is that it is a common cause for irreversible noise-induced hearing loss and hearing damage. It can also cause tinnitus, a ringing sensation in the ears.
Earplugs are one of the most popular forms of Hearing Protection due to their effectiveness in reducing noise, ease of use and comfort. In an industrial work setting, safety Earplugs help workers by reducing loud noises that damage the ears. Safety Earplugs also make it more comfortable for employees to work in noisy environments.
Safety Standards Certified
All Earplugs supplied by Boost Safety & Workwear meet or exceed Safety Standards including Australian, European, US, Canadian and international standards. Please refer to the specifications table and the product data sheet (both on the product page) which outline the standards that the product complies with and has been certified under.
How Earplugs Protect the Ears
Earplugs are a device usually made from foam or silicone and designed to fit the ear canal. In a workplace setting, industrial Earplugs are primarily used to protect the worker’s ears from loud noises, however Earplugs can also provide protection from dust, wind and foreign bodies. Once Earplugs are inserted into the ear, they are designed to seal the ear canal, reducing the sound vibrations that reach the eardrum.
Earplugs are most effective when the wearer has been properly trained on use and insertion. Employers can provide this training before dispensing industrial Earplugs to employees. Training for using Earplugs includes: insertion, a seal check, depth check, removal, cleaning (if reusable), disposal and replacement. If you would like training on Earplugs for your organisation and its employees, please Contact Us.
Classes of Earplugs & Earmuff Ratings
The Australian Standard AS/NZS 1270:2002 sets Hearing Protection and testing standards. It provides five classes for Hearing Protection, from Classes 1 to 5. Class 1 protection indicates the minimum or lowest level of protection, whilst Class 5 provides the highest level of Hearing Protection.
This noise protection class system is based on the Sound Level Conversion (SLC80) rating. This rating represents the difference between the environment sound level where the Earplugs are worn and the sound level that actually reaches the wearer’s ears. This value is then converted to a recommended noise range. The classes provide employers and workers an easy and convenient way to choose the right safety Earplugs appropriate for their sound level exposure.
The highest decibel reduction Earplugs belong to the Class 5 category.
Types of Earplugs
Earplugs come in a variety of types to suit different applications and personal preferences. The following are the main types of Earplugs used in Australia and around the World.
- Disposable Earplugs: Disposable Earplugs are the most popular type of Earplug. They are commonly made of foam providing a high level of protection and comfort. Disposable Earplugs are preferred in dirty environments as employers and employees need not worry about dirty Earplugs being reused. Disposable Earplugs can be Corded or Uncorded.
- Reusable Earplugs: These types of Earplugs allow the workers to use the Earplugs more than once. Whilst Reusable Earplugs can be more cost effective if workers reuse them enough times, the cleanliness of the work environment needs to be considered as well as facilities for workers to wash the Earplugs in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Reusable Earplugs can be Corded or Uncorded.
- Corded Earplugs: Earplugs connected with a cord are commonly referred to as Corded Earplugs. The cord reduces the frequency of lost Earplugs or Earplugs falling on the ground and getting dirty. Corded Earplugs are commonly worn around the neck when not inserted into the ears. Corded Earplugs can be Reusable or Disposable.
- Uncorded Earplugs: These Earplugs do not utilise a cord. Uncorded Earplugs are highly popular as workers need not worry about a cord dangling around their neck. Uncorded Earplugs can be Reusable or Disposable and are also regularly used in Earplug Dispensers.
- Push In Earplugs: Have an easy push-in construction and usually feature a short handle or stem to assist with insertion. Push In Earplugs are a great choice in very dirty environments. Push In Earplugs can be Corded or Uncorded.
- Roll Down Earplugs: Provide a great seal in the ear canal. To insert, workers roll down the foam Earplug between their fingers into a cylinder before inserting the Earplug into the ear canal. Once inserted the foam expands to create a seal. Roll Down Earplugs are very popular and can be Corded or Uncorded.
- Banded Earplugs: Utilise a plastic headband with the Earplugs mounted on each side. Banded Earplugs can be designed to be worn either around the back of the neck, under the chin or both. Banded Earplugs are commonly worn around the neck when not inserted into the ears. They usually feature a removable Earplug for ease of replacement.
Considerations for Choosing the Best Earplugs
Choosing the best noise reduction Earplugs depends on a lot of factors. The foremost considerations to keep in mind are:
- Protection: The best Earplugs provide adequate protection from onsite noise and hearing loss, particularly in industrial settings.
- Comfort: Workers are more likely to use safety Earplugs if they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. If Earplugs are uncomfortable, workers may remove their Earplugs resulting in exposure to dangerous noise levels.
- Communication Facility: The best Earplugs enable workers to communicate effectively whilst providing excellent protection. It is important to strike the right balance between the need to adequately protect hearing from dangerous noise while not compromising the ability to hear and communicate.
- Type: When choosing noise reduction Earplugs suitable for certain tasks, the basis of selection should meet the job’s safety requirements.
- Personal Preference: All people are different, including the size and shape of their ear canal. Workers using safety Earplugs will find a personal preference to one or more types of Earplugs based on which Earplugs fit their ear best and the environment they work in.
Features Commonly Found in the Best Earplugs
- Ergonomically designed for comfort
- Quick, easy and precise insertion for optimum effectiveness
- Availability with or without a cord
- Availability in bulk packs
- Acoustic engineering and wearer-focused design for superior attenuation performance
- Certified in accordance with Safety Standards
Dual Protection with Earmuffs
For maximum protection noise reduction Earplugs can be combined with Earmuffs for a greater reduction in noise. By workers simultaneously wearing Earplugs and Earmuffs, workers are provided with protection from both forms of hearing protection. It is important to note, the SLC for the Earmuffs and Earplugs cannot be added together to get a total SLC. Workers should also be careful they don’t block out important sounds, including ease of communication with other people on site.
Capabilities & Services
At Boost Safety & Workwear, we supply Earplugs, Hearing Protection, PPE, Workwear & Workplace Safety products to individuals and businesses of all sizes including contractors, SMEs, major companies, organisations and all levels of Government.
We can supply Earplugs in various quantities and offer volume discounts for larger orders. We can also assist in the selection of the correct Earplugs and Hearing Protection according to your industry and work environment. For Businesses, Organisations & Government Departments with 15 or more employees, we offer Free Trials & Samples for onsite testing prior to order placement.
On Hand to Help
If you have any questions, need a hand in selecting the right Earplugs or want to find out more about our Capabilities & Services, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us and a member of our team will be glad to assist.