5 Of The Best Hearing Protection For Construction Workers To Block Out Noise
The construction site has plenty of noisy machines that put your ears at the risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss. Some of the most common machines that you will find at the site include: generators, pumps, compressors, and many others.
For you to protect yourself, you need to wear hearing protection for construction workers. The cool thing is that there are plenty of options that you can go with. Here are some of the best hearing protection for construction workers that you can choose from:
What are your noise protection options?
There are three hearing protection options that you can go with as a construction worker: earplugs, earmuffs, and earbuds.
Earplugs are individual protective pieces that you insert into the ear canal to protect your ears from the noise. For you to prevent the noise from getting into your ears, you should insert the pieces deep in the ears to create a complete seal that will prevent the noise from penetrating through.
Earmuffs are designed to be placed on the external surfaces of the ear. They feature an adjustable band that holds the individual cups over the ear surface. You should note that hearing protection is only achieved when the earmuffs completely seal over the exterior surfaces of the ear opening.
Earbuds, or headphones as they are popularly known, work by adding noise strain to the ear canal. As a result, you don’t hear the outside noise. You should avoid using these unless you like working while listening to the radio.
How much noise do the construction machines produce?
Different machines produce different amounts of noise. Here is a table that gives you an idea of the noise levels produced:
INDICATIVE NOISE LEVEL (DECIBELS)
Driving A Vehicle
Standing By A Busy Road
Operating Forklift Trucks
Operating A Welder
Operating A Hand-Held Power Tool
Belt Sander 95 Decibels Jigsaw
Masonry Drill (Timber Then Concrete)
Bench Rip Saw
Operating A Grinder
Operating A Circular Saw
Operating A Bench Grinder
Operating A Crane
They are popularly used in shooting, but there is no harm in using them in your construction project.
How is the noise protection?
You are buying the pieces to protect you from the noisy construction tools, right? And these pieces will provide you with all the ear protection you are looking for.
The earmuffs provide you with 34 dB of sound protection, which is one of the highest levels in the market.
When you are buying these pieces you should note that they are passive earmuffs. This means that they don’t amplify or entertain any extra sound frequencies.
While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that they don’t provide you with noise protection. They block your ears from all the noise from the construction materials leaving your world noise free.
Are they heavy?
When you are at the construction site, you have to move about; therefore, the last thing you want are pieces that are heavy, cumbersome, and limit your movement. These earmuffs weigh less than 6.4 ounces.
According to the manufacturers, they are specifically designed to address the limitations of conventional ear muffs.
The lightweight nature of the pieces ensures that you are comfortable when working.
How is the construction?
The earmuffs are made from high-quality plastic that you are sure will last for a long time giving the ear muffs a long life. To keep you comfortable when working, the pieces have high quality cushioning.
In addition to being lightweight, they also feature a padded headband that further makes the units more comfortable to wear.
Unlike other units that are large and tedious to carry around, these are small in size and you can easily carry them in your bag. Even if you don’t have a bag, you can easily carry them using your hands.
What are the advantages of these earmuffs?
- Have great noise reduction rating
- Come at affordable prices
- Lightweight and compact
- Fold easily for convenient storage
- You can hold a conversation even when wearing them
- Perfect fit and snug
What are the drawbacks?
- One of the flaws I noticed is that the adjustments aren’t big enough to fit larger heads; therefore, if you have a larger head like mine, you may have challenges keeping them on at the maxed out size.
- I also noticed that due to their high noise protection, you might not hear too well what the other workers are saying.
How do you make them last for a long time?
The key to keeping the pieces in top condition for a long time is cleaning them regularly. You should take care that you don’t submerge them in water, which will damage them.
Before you wear them, you should inspect them for any defects they might be having. If you notice any such as worn out cushioning, you should fix them before you go on with your project.
If you don’t mind some noise in your ears when working, you should go ahead and get these.
Why should you buy the worktunes?
There are plenty of reasons why you should go for these pieces. They include:
Comfort: The units feature plush ear cushions and padded headband that ensures that you are comfortable when working. Due to these features, you can wear the worktunes for hours without any issues.
The units also have a safe volume control technology that allows you to easily increase the volume of your favorite station. The feature also corrects itself to maintain safe levels over an 8 hour work day.
The rotary tuning dial allows you to operate the worktunes from the headset, eliminating the need for cords.
Bluetooth wireless technology: The Bluetooth technology has matured over the years and now you can find it in almost all devices. Since you can easily link your devices to these earmuffs using the technology, you don’t have to worry about cords getting in the way and disrupting you when working.
- Noise reduction rating of 24 dB ensures that you are protected from most of the noises coming from the construction machines.
- The auto scanning feature allows you to easily find and save your favorite radio stations.
- The ear protection devices have a durable design that can last for a long time. This saves you money as you don’t have to keep on replacing the pieces every now and then.
- The automatic shut-off feature comes in handy at extending the lifespan of the batteries. As you might have guessed, this leads to you saving a lot of money in the long run.
- When you go for more than 2 hours without using the devices, they shut themselves automatically, which protects them from consuming a lot of energy.
- Finally, the units feature an audio assist technology that guides you through the setting up and operating of the electronics without taking off the earmuffs.
How do you get the most from the worktunes?
For you to get the most from the worktunes, you need to wear them properly. You should start with placing the earmuffs on your head with the band at the top. At this position, pull out the cups and place the earmuffs over your ears.
This ensures that the ear cushions fit snugly.
For the pieces to exert equal pressure around your ears, you should ensure that the cups fully enclose your ears.
Always ensure that you get a good seal to prevent the noise from getting in. The cool thing is that you can easily achieve this by adjusting the height of both cups.
All you need to do is to slide the cup up or down while holding the earmuff in place. Most people with long hair tend to have problems achieving a good seal as the hair tends to get in the way.
For you to get a good seal, you should get rid of the hair.
For the pieces to last for a long time, you need to store them properly. The best way of going about it is ensuring that you don’t store the units above 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
You also should avoid bending or reshaping the headband. This is because doing so has been shown to create a loose fit and sound leakage that reduces the efficiency of the pieces.
How do you ensure that the pieces last for a long time?
For the pieces to last for a long time, you need to take good care of them. One of the things you should do is to clean them regularly. You should start with disassembling them then go ahead and sponge them with warm, soapy water.
Once you are done, rinse them thoroughly.
For you to avoid damaging them, you should avoid using any solvents that might damage the body.
After cleaning the worktunes, let the foam liner dry completely before you re-insert it into the ear cups.
Before you use the units, inspect them for any issues such as worn out or cracked parts. If there are faulty parts, you will have to fix them before you use the pieces.
Do you wear the pieces every day? You should expect the foam cushions to last for about six months after which you will have to replace them.
Tips to consider when using the worktunes
One of the mistakes you should avoid making with the pieces is wearing them the wrong way. As mentioned above, always ensure that you have a good seal.
Since the pieces have many great features, they aren’t as cheap as the other headphones in the market; therefore, you should always expect to part with a substantial amount for you to get the worktunes of your desires.
As a construction worker, you are a hardworking person; therefore, you deserve hardworking hearing protectors.
How is hearing protection?
The reason you are looking for powerful hearing protectors is that you don’t want your ears to be damaged by the noisy construction machines.
While Husqvarna hasn’t indicated the amount of noise protection that they provide, you can have peace of mind that you will get the protection you need as they block almost all of the outside noise. You only need to wear them.
The pieces don’t have a radio; therefore, you can’t listen to your favorite stations. If you love listening to music when working, you can always wear earphones then wear the earmuffs over them.
Are they comfortable?
You are on your feet most of the time; therefore, the last thing you want are uncomfortable pieces that you have to carry around the entire day. Not with these.
The headband adjusts easily; therefore, you can easily achieve your desired head size. The headband is also padded which makes the pieces more comfortable.
As a result of this, you can wear them for long periods of time without any problems.
The pieces weigh only 10.4 ounces. As you might guess, this is light enough to ensure that you can be comfortable on your feet for long periods of time.
If you feel that the units are exerting a lot of pressure on your ears, these pieces have a pressure adjustment feature that you can use to adjust them to your desired pressures.
Are they durable?
On first look, the pieces look flimsy, but they aren’t. They are made from high quality, hard plastic which gives you peace of mind that they can’t easily break. This means that they will last for a long time. As a consequence, you save money as you don’t have to keep on replacing them.
For them to retain their look and effectiveness for long, you should clean them regularly. You also should take care that you don’t drop or step on them.
The manufacturers also caution you against wearing them with a hardhat as you can easily damage them.
What I liked the most about the pieces
While their noise reduction rating isn’t indicated, they are highly effective in their working and block out most of the noises coming from the construction site.
Although, the units have an easy to adjust headband, I have noticed that they don’t adjust far enough to allow my large head to be comfortable.
When I stretch them to the furthest, they still exert a lot of pressure on my head. When you are buying the pieces, you should be cautious of the size of your head as they don’t go well with people with large heads.
While these pieces are designed for shooters, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use them in your construction project.
How is the noise protection?
The pieces have a noise reduction rating of 34 dB which is high enough to keep off most of the noises at the construction site.
For the pieces to provide you with the high noise protection ratings, the hearing protectors are made from high quality two layers of proprietary noise dampening foam.
Are they comfortable?
The immediate thing I noticed about these earmuffs when I wore them the first time is how comfortable they are. They feature a foam that prevents the noise from the construction machines from getting into the ears. The foam also comes in handy at keeping you comfortable when working.
The hearing protectors are also padded with synthetic leather that increases the comfort levels.
Do you have a large head like mine? You don’t have to worry about finding the ear protection devices too small. This is because the pieces have an adjustable headband that allows you to adjust the pieces to your desired fit.
The cup of the protection devices tilts and shivels, giving you the custom fit that you are looking for.
The 1 ¼ inches of vertical adjustment on both sides of the earmuffs makes them very comfortable to wear.
I have used hundreds of earmuffs over the years and the constant problem with them is storage. With these pieces, you don’t have to worry about it. They have a compact folding design that makes storage a breeze.
Will the ear muffs last?
Just like other construction ear muffs, these pieces are made from industrial grade, high-quality plastic. Unless you drop the protection devices, they can last for years. I have had mine for three years now and they function as new.
- High noise reduction rating
- Compact folding design that makes storage easy
- Adjustable for them to fit all sizes
- Padded headband
- Snug reliable fit
- Industrial grade plastic
- Premium quality
- Guaranteed not to break
What do I like about the earmuffs?
There are plenty of things I like about these pieces. One of the things is the cups that shivel, making the earmuffs one of the most comfortable pieces I have ever worn.
I also like that the pieces are very affordable and yet they block most of the noise at the construction site.
What don’t I like about the pieces?
Just as there are a number of things I like about the hearing protection devices, there are equally many others that I don’t like.
One of the things I don’t like is that despite adjusting the earmuffs to the maximum, I still felt them too tight. In some cases, when I have long hair, the ear muffs are too tight that I can’t wear them for more than a few minutes.
They are designed for firearm, personal, and industrial use. The pieces come from humble backgrounds. The husband and wife duo behind the earmuffs were driven by the need to provide the best safety earmuffs in the market. After uncountable trials and testing, they released these ear protection devices.
How is the noise protection?
I have to say that the earmuffs have the highest noise reduction rating in the market, of a whopping 37 dB. This rating is high enough to block most of the noise coming from your construction machines.
Are they comfortable?
Over the years, I have come to realize that the pieces that provide the highest levels of noise protection tend to be the most uncomfortable. Not with these.
The earmuffs feature a smooth, padded cell headband that keeps your head comfortable regardless of how tight the pieces are. The anti-slip technology used in making the earmuffs keeps them securely on your head, so that you don’t have to keep on placing them in place.
This feature also comes in handy at ensuring that the pieces provide you with the highest levels of noise protection.
If you have been using earmuffs for a long time, you will agree with me that most of them are heavy. This makes them uncomfortable to wear for a long time. Decibel defense earmuffs are lightweight (weigh 12 oz).
Due to this, you can comfortably wear them all day long. When I’m wearing the pieces, I have forgotten about them on numerous occasions as I don’t feel them on the head.
The lightweight nature of the pieces also makes them easy to carry after work. In fact, you don’t need any special tool to carry them.
Are they durable?
The last thing you want is having to keep on going to the shops to buy new pieces. I have been using these earmuffs for the last three years, and they don’t have any problem. I can see using them for one or more years before I can even think about replacing the ear pads.
They are made from high-quality plastic; therefore, unless you drop or step on them, they will last for a long time.
What I like about the earmuffs
The pieces have a number of features I like about them. They include:
- High noise protection: This goes without saying. As someone who has struggled with tinnitus for the better part of my life, I’m highly sensitive to noise. These pieces provide high noise protection which makes it possible to comfortably work on the construction site.
- Affordable: Despite the high noise protection rating, they cost under $30
- Lightweight: This makes it easy to carry them around. It also increases the comfort levels
- Comfortable: The padded headband ensures that you are comfortable the entire working session
What I don’t like about the pieces
While the pieces have a high noise reduction rating, they fall into the category of passive earmuffs. This means that they don’t have the ability to provide sound cancelling. They also don’t cut off sounds that are over 85 dB.
The pieces also don’t have a jack where you can connect your phone or mp3 player. If you love listening to music as you work, this is a major downfall.
Despite these flaws, I have to say that the pieces are one of the best in the market and there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy them.
Why do construction machines get noisier with use?
If you have been in the construction area for a long time, you might have realized that the construction machines get noisier with use. There are plenty of reasons why this is the case:
Worn or chipped gear teeth: As you use the machines, the gear teeth chip or wear out, hence they don’t mesh properly. This leads to a lot of noise. If you look closely, you can see the shiny wear marks that are often visible on the teeth.
Worn bearings: When the bearings wear out, they create vibration and noise. As you continue using the machine, flat spots or cracks appear on the balls.
Slackness between the loose and worn parts: The loose parts cause rattling noises and squealing from slack drive belts.
Poor lubrication: When the machines are poorly lubricated, they cause squeaking noises brought about by friction or impact noise in dry and worn gears. The used bearing will also cause the problem.
Obstruction in airways: When there is a build-up of dirt, bent or damaged pieces of metal near the moving parts, the machine tends to make whistling and other types of noises.
Blunt blades or cutting faces: Blunt or chipped saw teeth, router bits, drill bits, and other issues make the construction job noisier and slower.
Damaged silencers: As you use the machines, the silencers for the air-driven machines or mufflers may rust, clog up with dirt, or get damaged. As a result, they lose their ability to absorb noise. This leads to them being too noisy.
Removal of noise-reduction attachment: It’s common for people to remove silencers, covers, mufflers, guards, and vibration isolators as the machines get old. Removal of the parts leads to the machines being too noisy making the construction site too loud.
For you to protect yourself from the noisy machines, you need to wear the best noise protection for construction workers.
How can you control noise at the construction site
In addition to wearing the right hearing protection, there are plenty of other ways in which you can control the noise. These ways include:
Eliminating the source of the noise: If you can, you should get rid of all the noise. This calls for you to switch off the noisy machines. Chances are that you won’t be using the machines all the time. When you aren’t using the machines, always switch them off.
Substitute the noisy machines: Technology is ever-changing. In addition to the manufacturing companies coming up with better working machines, they also make quieter machines. If you have old machines that are making a lot of noise, you should highly consider replacing them with quieter ones.
Some of the manufacturing companies accept trade-ins where you return your older machines, and get new ones that are quieter and more fun to work with.
Make use of engineering controls: Here you need to treat the noise at the source or in its transmission path. Some of the ways in which you can achieve this is by using silencers, dampeners, isolation, and noise barriers. You also should take good care of the construction tools.
Reduce the length of time you are exposed to the noise: Finally, you should work at reducing the amount of time you are exposed to the noise. Even if you are wearing earmuffs or earplugs, always ensure that you don’t work for more than eight hours in the noise.
You can achieve this by undertaking rotations with the other workers. If you are handling your project and you can’t take a rotation, you should step away from the site after eight hours.
Even during the working hours, always take breaks. For example, after every working hour, take a ten-minute break so that you can relieve your ears.
How do you take care of your hearing protection devices?
For the hearing protection devices to last for a long time and also provide you with maximum noise protection, you should take good care of them. Care of the different units depends on the individual pieces:
Disposable foam earplugs: You should use them once. Only in dire situations should you use them a number of times. Since they aren’t washable, you should simply replace them when they get dirty or damaged. You also should dispose of them when they are no longer able to regain their original shape after rolling.
Reusable earplugs: You can use these a number of times. Unlike disposable earplugs, these are washable; therefore, one of the ways of maintaining them is by washing them when they get dirty. You should consider replacing them when the flanges get damaged, torn, or lose their soft, pliable nature.
Push-to-fit-foam earplugs: They aren’t washable; therefore, you can’t use them many times. You should replace the pieces when they get dirty, when the tips detach from the stem, or when the tips are no longer soft and pliable.
Banded hearing protectors: You use these many times. You can wash the bands and reusable tips. If your pieces have foam tips, you can’t wash them—you have to replace them when they get dirty.
You should replace the bands when they get damaged or they no longer provide enough tension to hold the tips tightly in or on the ears. When it comes to the tips, replace them when they get damaged or when they are no longer soft and pliable.
Earmuffs: Just like the banded hearing protection devices, you also can use them many times. The headband and outside of the cups are washable, but the foam inserts inside the cups are not. This means that when you are cleaning the earmuffs, take care that you don’t wet these areas.
You should replace the bands when they get damaged or they no longer provide enough tension to hold the cups tightly over the ears.
You also should make a habit of replacing the cushions and foam inserts every six months or sooner if they are damaged or they are no longer soft and pliable.
For you to ensure that the units last for a long time and give you the service that you deserve, you should invest in high-quality pieces. This calls for you to avoid cheap pieces.