Ear protection refers to devices used to protect the ear, either externally from elements such as cold, intrusion by water and other environmental conditions, debris, or specifically from noise. High levels of exposure to noise may result in noise-induced hearing loss. Measures to protect the ear are referred to as hearing protection, and devices for that purpose are called hearing protection devices. In the context of work, adequate hearing protection is that which reduces noise exposure to below 85 dBA over the course of an average work shift of eight hours.. Different types of hearing protection may be utilized to maximize hearing protection. OSHA regulations dictate whether hearing protection is required and if the company must participate in a hearing conservation program.
Types of ear protection include:
- Earplugs, internal
- Earmuffs, external
- Helmet, covering various parts of the head, including the ears
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