How to Select and Use Hearing Protection
Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor discusses the importance of hearing protection when working around power tools
- Hearing loss affects 30 million US adults and the damage is cumulative.
- Exposure to sounds over 85 decibels is considered harmful.
- A good rule of thumb is if you need to shout to talk to someone standing at arm’s length, you should be wearing hearing protection.
- Ear muffs block out mid-frequency sounds like general shop noise, but they don’t do as well with low-frequency sounds.
- Foam ear plugs will block both mid- and low-frequency sounds.
- Foam ear plugs should be rolled in the finger to be compressed, then tug on your ear and place the plug into your ear canal to let it expand.
- Keep hearing protection in a convenient spot so you’re more likely to reach for it.
The hearing protection that Kevin demonstrated, including over-the-ear and ear plugs, was manufactured by 3M Safety.
Personal Protective Equipment, including ear protection, can be purchased at home centers and hardware stores.