Some people who work continually in a noisy environment might feel it is okay to remove their hearing protectors. It is advised hearing protectors be worn as long as the noise is present. Even removing them for a short period of time will reduce the maximum amount of protection to your ears, and put you at risk for hearing loss. If hearing protectors are being removed for a few minutes because they are uncomfortable, be fitted for new ones.
A research study carried out on removing hearing protectors briefly, while the noise continued, showed the highest protection was when the hearing protectors were worn 100 percent. At 100 percent, most people were protected at 30 Decibels (dB), compared to 50 percent use, where people were only protected from 3 dB.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|