Noise exposure and Hearing Protection Class selection
Selection of hearing protection is based on the eight hour equivalent (LAeq,8h) and not on a peak level. To find the right LAeq,8h you can use the calculator below, and fill in the noise levels at your workplace and how much time you spend in those levels. Please use realistic figures.
For example: An angle grinder that produces 110 dB, is not operated for 8 hours a day, but normally only a couple of minutes of time spread over the day, which can add up to, say 1 hour actively operating it. The time in between might be spent with changing work pieces, welding, reading drawings, communication etc.
The calculator, selection criteria and other recommendations are based on the same methods as recommended by the Department of Labour.
It is important to select hearing protection from the correct class, as under-protection is unsafe and over-protection is unsafe as well! Over-protection causes discomfort and acoustical isolation as well as difficult communication.
If Hearing protection is not worn 100% of the time, effectiveness is reduced dramatically. I.e. 5 minutes in a full day not worn in the noise reduces the overall protection by 40%.
Noise does not only develop hearing damage, but also fatigue, sleeping problems, irritation, misjudgments, etc.
The Department of Labour uses 85 dB as an acceptable exposure level. This is not 100% safe and a percentage of the workforce will still develop a certain level of hearing damage.
At 80 dB Laeq,8h, which is in a lot of other countries the acceptable level, only around 2% of the workforce is expected to develop some hearing damage. Every 3 db increase in Leaq8h the allowed exposure time halves I.e. 8 hour at 85 dB is “acceptable” without hearing protection. At 88 dB this is only 4 hours. At 91 dB, 2 hours etc.
We can offer you a suitable product for every situation as we have custom made earplugs from Class 1 and up, including Class 5 earplug