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Ear Muffs

Need help? Need help? Do you comply to ear muff regulations? Premium Quality Ear Muffs with Guaranteed Noise Protection
Ear defenders are used by workers all over the world to protect their hearing from damaging noises. We stock a huge selection of ear muffs, making it easier for you to find exactly what you need to keep your employees safe. Take a look at what’s available in our range and factors to consider when choosing these products.

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Ear Muffs Expert Advice


How do ear muffs work and why are they needed?

Ear muffs, also commonly referred to as ear defenders, are an essential form of hearing protection for workers who operate in environments with levels of noise that could lead to any kind of hearing damage over time. So how do ear defenders work? And do they all work equally well?
Usually, ear muffs protect the wearer’s ears using acoustic foam, which absorbs sound waves by increasing levels of air resistance. Some ear defenders incorporate two-way communication devices or radios to allow wearers to communicate while still offering protection from loud noises that might damage hearing. Unsurprisingly, there is a difference in quality, with more expensive ear muffs generally offering better levels of hearing protection.

How do electronic ear muffs work?

Electronic ear muffs, sometimes referred to as ‘smart’ ear muffs, can allow workers to hear what they need to hear while blocking out dangerously loud sounds. Electronic components in the ear defenders include microphones that pick up sound in the surrounding area, an amplifier that makes low volume sounds easier to hear with the ear defenders on and speakers that project the sound to make hearing even more efficient.
If, however, the sound level is dangerously high, the amplifier cuts out and the passive protection built into the ear muffs kicks in, protecting workers’ ears from damage. Electronic ear muffs protect ears from sudden loud sounds such as loud machinery starting up or gunfire, which is why they are often referred to as shooting ear defenders.

What are UK regulations on hearing protection at work?

The UK has a strict set of health and safety rules around noise levels at work. They are covered in legislation under The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, also known as the Noise Regulations. These state that employers must provide hearing protection for their workers and implement hearing protection zones if employees are exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels or more, based on average daily or weekly exposure. Employers must also assess risk to workers’ health if they are exposed to noise levels over 80 decibels and should provide them with information and training regarding the dangers of noise levels at work.

The Health and Safety Executive has estimated that there are up to 23,000 UK workers with work-related hearing problems, but the legislation seems to be reducing the amount of employee claims in this area. The amount of new claims for work-related deafness has fallen from over 200 in 2008, to around 70 in 2017, showing that increased attention to hearing protection at work is definitely worth paying attention to.
If you suspect noise at work a risk for your employees, take a close look at the regulations. You can find the full text of the 2005 regulations here and a useful guide to controlling the risks of noise at work here. You may well be under obligation to provide noise cancelling ear muffs or other types of ear protection for your employees.

How to wear ear muffs correctly

Make sure all your employees are trained in how to fit, adjust and wear their ear muffs correctly. Many ear defenders have adjustable headbands or straps to ensure perfect positioning over each ear, therefore offering full hearing protection. Employees who wear hard hats, safety goggles or other safety gear will need to make sure all items are compatible and can be safely and securely worn together. All employees should be trained in how to correctly wear their ear defenders in order to ensure their hearing is actually protected.

How to buy ear muffs

You can easily order your ear muffs from this page. We’ve provided all the information you need to make an informed decision about which are the best ear defenders for your employees, given the noise levels they work with and their communication needs while on the job. If you have any questions, please do get in touch. Here at Seton, we have a wide range of ear muffs from reputable brands, including the popular and well-respected Peltor Ear Defenders and high-quality Howard Leight Ear Muffs. You can see our whole range of ear protection equipment on this page. Three of our most popular and versatile ear protection products are:


Ear protection should, however, always be picked with the unique circumstances of your workplace in mind. Read on for some tips on how to choose the best ear defenders for your workplace.

Choosing ear muffs

With loud noises presenting a risk of serious long-term damage to hearing, it is vital you provide proper ear protection to keep your employees safe in noisy working environments. Our selection of ear muffs include products suitable for a wide range of different scenarios.
You will find ear muffs designed for indoor and outdoor use, ear muffs designed to block various levels of noise and ear muffs with and without built-in communications options. With ear muff cleaning kits on the same page, it should be easy to find what you need to suit your requirements.
Ear muffs are essential for ensuring employees are properly protected in noisy environments. There are many different types available, including those tailored for specific tasks such as welding, but otherwise how can you find the appropriate ones for your particular situation? There are several factors you will need to consider.

Risk Exposure

Firstly, you will need to know the level of noise your employees risk being exposed to. Ear muffs are designed to provide various levels of protection. Some simply filter out annoying noise to make it easier to concentrate on the job, while others can block out the sound of a tower block being demolished. If your employees are dealing with a lot of noise and you do not provide a high enough level of protection, they could still be at risk of injury.
Ear muffs designed to block out high levels of noise are also useful for employees doing mission-critical work who simply cannot afford to be distracted. Some employers purchase them for workers who are on the autism spectrum and find it difficult to filter out day to day background chatter, making it easier for them to focus and thereby improving their productivity.

Communication

One difficulty in providing efficient ear protection is that sometimes employees may need to hear other people talking to them. Some of the ear muffs we sell have built-in speakers so the wearer can hear voices at a normal volume while still being protected from other noise. This makes it a lot easier to manage situations in which ongoing communication is needed and employees cannot rely on instructions provided ahead of time. In some situations, this can considerably enhance safety.

Other safety factors

Another safety consideration you will need to consider when choosing ear muffs is how well they can be combined with any head protection your employees will need to use. The two will have to fit properly together to provide full protection, and they will have to be comfortable as well if they are going to be worn over long periods without causing distraction.
Like any other piece of personal protection equipment, ear muffs vary in their resistance to things like water and dust, so you will need to choose the right ones for the conditions your employees are likely to be faced with, and you will need to consider how they can be maintained in good condition. The ear muff cleaning kits we offer can be used regularly to reduce the risk of dirt getting ground in or mildly corrosive substances doing long-term damage. They also reduce the risk of ear infections.
Finally, since we know that storage is a major consideration for many employers, we stock a variety of folding headphones which are easy to keep safe and out of the way when not in use.

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