Hearing is a sense most of us take for granted. We are not mindful that it lets us enjoy life to the full. We can communicate with people, it allows us to enjoy music and it keeps us alert of possible danger. We don’t think about the potential risks we take by exposing ourselves to various loud noises. Be it at a shooting range, on a motorbike, in a noisy work setting or even just turning up the volume levels on your headphones.
If sound levels aren't preventable, ear protection is the answer. The next step is to find the right protection based on the noise level you are trying to block out. A Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) refers to the measurement of noise in decibels. The system is designed to determine what type of noise protection is required in the workplace for occupations that require working around some level of noise.
What does this NNR number mean?
The higher the NRR number, the greater the noise reduction. This number is subtracting from the real decibel level to determine the amount of noise exposure. The NRR refers to the level of noise exposure you would experience while wearing earplugs. If, for instance, you were exposed to a noise level of 80 decibels and wearing earplugs with a NRR of 30, you would be exposed to 50 decibels of noise while wearing the earplugs.
• 20 decibels - very quiet whispering
• 25 decibels - refrigerator operating
• 50 decibels - moderate rainfall
• 40 decibels - quiet room with ambient sound
• 60 decibels - conversation,
• 70 decibels - vacuum cleaner
Very Loud Noise
• 90 decibels - lawnmower, heavy traffic, power tools
• 110 decibels - industrial machinery
• 120 decibels - jet plane engine taking off, car stereo
• 130 decibels – jackhammer
By keeping the info listed above in mind, you should be able to make very informed, quality purchases when it comes to buying protective equipment for hearing.