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Glossary

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Hearing protection

Equipment intended to avoid the hazards of exposure to high levels of noise, which may result in hearing loss. Hearing protection equipment should be worn when the noise level is 85 decibels or greater averaged over an 8-hour period of time. Popular types of hearing protection devices include the following: 

  • Single-use earplugs are made of waxed cotton, foam, silicone rubber or fibreglass wool. They are self-forming and, when properly inserted, they work as well as most molded earplugs. 
  • Pre-formed or molded earplugs must be individually fitted by a professional and can be disposable or reusable. Reusable plugs should be cleaned after each use.
  • Earmuffs require a perfect seal around the ear. Glasses, facial hair, long hair or facial movements such as chewing may reduce the protective value of earmuffs.

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