Just because it fits, doesn’t mean you’re protected

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We look at how combining hearing protection with the wrong helmet can put you at risk.

World Hearing Day is the ideal time to focus on the importance of hearing protection when working in noisy environments. You may have already seen our “Listen Today, Hear Tomorrow” fact file, which we shared for Tinnitus Awareness Week. This helped you manage the risk of hearing damage and understand when and why you will need hearing protection.

But having suitable hearing protection is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s just as important to make sure that when attaching ear defenders to your helmet, it’s not affecting the performance. This is the only way to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk.

The “one size fits all” problem.

If you want to use helmet-mounted ear defenders, you will of course need a helmet that provides an accessory slot to attach them to. To make protection easily compatible, you will notice that manufacturers have made the fitting points of the helmet cater for all types of ear defenders.

This is where the issue arises.

The universal accessory slot may guarantee they fit together, but it does not guarantee protection. It’s important to know that the performance of ear defenders can be determined by the force produced by the spring arm, which maintains the seal of the cushion around the wearer’s ear.

Ear defenders with the EN 352-3 standard will specify the helmet manufacturer and model that they’ve been tested with. But helmets and ear defenders from different manufacturers may not have been tested together. That’s the only way to know it provides the required level of protection.

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) recommends that if products are selected from different sources, you should make sure to check that the ear defenders have been tested on the exact make and model of helmet with which you plan to use them with.

We’re a member of the BSiF.

Arming you with the right knowledge to make better decisions is at the forefront of what we do. We have decades of experience and a deep understanding of the dangers of combining the wrong types of protection. This includes FR and Arc flash resistant clothing, hand protection, and eye wear.

The BSiF motto is “Anyone can sell safety, but you wouldn’t buy safety from anyone”. As a member of the BSiF, we’re proud to be a trusted supplier of all types of safety products. We assess your situation and help you make the best decision about health, safety, and hygiene.

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