Hearing Protection

The important facts...

  • Exposure to excessive noise (over 85dB) can cause permanent hearing loss
  • Damage to hearing is one of the most wide spread, yet preventable workplace injuries
  • Hearing loss generally occurs over time, so may not be immediately noticeable
How hearing works

 Just like the ripples spreading out in circles as a stone is dropped into water, the sound is transmitted from the sound source as waves, gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.

The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, setting the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion, which causes the fluid in the inner ear or cochlea to move.

 The audible range for humans is 0 -140 decibels (dB), which is how we measure loudness.  A whisper is around 25 – 30 dB and conversations are usually 45 – 60 dB; speech is a combination of low – and high – frequency sounds.

Exposure to more than 85 dB for long periods is unsafe and may lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss.

What is measured with the Decibel Scale?

Decibels are widely used to ascertain how loud a sound is since this information is vital to safeguard against ear damage and prevent noise pollution. Whether assessing how much noise building a new road will produce or determining the intensity of music in a theatre, decibels and decibel scale are important measurement tools.

What does SLC80 mean?

Understanding Hearing Protection Ratings 
SLC80 [Sound Level Conversion] – The SLC80 is a rating number used in Australia and New Zealand. This number is the level of protection achievable by 80% of the test subjects in laboratory testing. During the test procedure, the hearing protection device is subjected to physical forces, stretching, heating and concussion - to simulate real wearing conditions over a period of time. Depending on the level of attenuation (or reduction in sound), a Class rating is assigned to the protector.
A Class 1 protector may be used in noise up to 90 dBA, a Class 2 protector to 95 dBA, a Class 3 protector to 100 dBA, and so on in 5 dB increments. Most of the time, the packaging will show the SLC80, followed by the classification (i.e. SLC80 27, Class 5).


Choosing your hearing protection

There Are Three Main Types Of Hearing Protection


Disposable Earplugs


Disposable Earplugs are usually made of soft expandable PU foam. The earplug gets rolled between fingers to compress it before inserting it into the ear canal, where the plug expands again to seal against the individual contours of the wearer’s ear. These are economical, designed for single use and are available in uncorded and corded options. 


Reusable Earplugs

These are moulded from washable soft plastic or silicone rubber and are usually ‘flanged’, with flexible ridges or flaps that circle the plug and enable it to seal gently against the ear canal. Corded and uncorded options are supplied in a handy resealable plastic case and can be reused.




Suppress unwanted noise by completely covering the outer ear with a plastic shell filled with sound-deadening material to prevent noise reaching the inner ear. We have a variety of earmuffs that have adjustable headband to hard hat attachments to suit individual needs.