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Hearing Protection Information

Peltor Optime Push To Listen Ear Muff

Get The Right Protection….

Protec Direct offers a comprehensive range of hearing protection for a wide range of applications from disposable ear plugs to hi-tech electronic ear muffs.All the hearing products we offer are designed to provide comfort, protection and ease of use.

Excessive Noise and Hearing Loss....

The loss of hearing is a gradual process. Excessive levels of noise can damage the sensory ‘hair’ cells in our ears over a long period of time. Damage to these cells results in a loss of our ability to hear certain sounds. Hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work continues to be a significant occupational illness. Recent research estimates 170,000 people in the UK suffer deafness, tinnitus and other ear conditions due to exposure to excessive noise at work (source:

Changing Regulations....

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 states employers must provide suitable hearing protection where noise exceeds 80 db(A). Continued exposure to noise above this level could cause permanent damage to hearing. If the level is above 85 db(A) the wearing of hearing protection is mandatory. There is also a maximum level of 87db(A) which must not be exceeded even when wearing hearing protection. Many employees not affected under previous legislation will now have to be considered. For example, people working in light industry, utility workers, bar staff and public service employees may now be exposed and must be provided with adequate protection.

SNR Rating….

Simplified Noise Level Reduction is an easy means of comparing different hearing protectors. The SNR data supplied by the manufacturer is an easy means of comparing different earmuffs and earplugs.For example the SNR is deducted from the overall sound level to calculate the sound pressure level at the ear when wearing the hearing protector. Please note that at different frequencies the SNR does not reduce the attenuation by the SNR number.


Method of estimating the attenuation of hearing protection based on 3 parameters.

H – High
M – Medium
L – Low

The terms refer to the noise reduction of the chosen hearing protector.

European Standards

EN 352
EN 352/1 Earmuff / Headband
EN 352/2 Earplugs
EN 352/3 Earmuffs attached to helmet
EN 352/4 Electronic earmuffs
EN 352/5 Active noise reduction earmuffs
EN 352/6 Ear-muffs with electrical audio input
EN 352/7 Level-dependent ear-plugs

Typical Noise Sources

Harmful Range
Aircraft jet engine 140dBA
Gun shot, riveting hammer 130dBA
Chainsaw, aircraft propeller 120dBA
Nail gun, blasting, rock drill 110dBA
Risk area – Hearing Protection Mandatory
Machine shop, welding/fabrication shop 100dBA
Drilling concrete, heavy goods vehicle sandblasting 90dBA
Busy Traffic 85dBA
Safe Area
Busy traffic, loud radio, vacuum cleaner 80dBA
Car Driver 70dBA
Normal office conversation 60dBA