We only have one pair of ears, and they must last us a lifetime!
With Tinnitus Awareness week being on the 7th February, it really is a timely reminder that ears are remarkable organs, and we must take care that the sounds that we expose ourselves to will not cause them harm.
When thinking about sound levels you also need to be aware of exposure times. How long sounds are safe for?
A dB is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound – 85dB and above is the level at which noise becomes unsafe without the use of hearing protection.
For sounds under 85dB, there should be no need for hearing protection. Although if you work in a noisy environment, of up to 80dB, you should be trained and educated to understand the risks and hearing protection should be made available.
For 85dB and over, hearing protection should be provided. These rules do not relate to social noise, and that’s where you need to make sure you protect yourself.
These examples of sound levels and maximum exposure times should give you a gauge for sound levels.
In partnership with the British Safety Industry Federation, Tower have produced a fact file entitled “Listen Today, Hear Tomorrow” to highlight that hearing protection is a last resort and gives tips on how to get the most from it. Download a copy below.