3M Hearing Protector Use and Care

Hearing Protector Use & Care

  • Help your employees make the most of the hearing protection devices (HPDs) they wear by verifying that the noise reduction provided is adequate and that the HPDs are properly used, maintained and replaced.

Determining the Adequacy of Hearing Protectors

  • The Sound Level Conversion (SLC80) is a description of how much noise reduction was measured on a group of untrained hearing protection users who wore the HPD in a laboratory test. As the science has evolved in hearing protection, it is becoming generally recognised that the best way to ensure the adequacy of a hearing protector for any specific worker is to the conduct fit testing to confirm that the expected level of attenuation is achieved (i.e., the proper type of protector was selected and is being used correctly). 3M strongly recommends the fit testing of hearing protectors on the individual wearer.

    Dual Protection

    Wearing earmuffs together with earplugs provides between 5-10 dB more noise reduction than either device worn by itself. The extra protection provided varies depending on the frequency of the sound.


Use and Care of Hearing Protectors

Always follow the User Instructions provided with the hearing protectors for fitting, cleaning & storage, and replacement of HPDs. In general, replace hearing protectors when they are damaged or no longer provide an effective noise-blocking seal.

  • 3M Disposable Foam Earplugs

    Disposable foam earplugs

    Uses: Several
    Care: Not washable. Replace when dirty, damaged or no longer regain original shape after rolling

  • 3M Push-to-Fit Earplugs

    Push-to-fit foam earplugs

    Uses: Several
    Care: Not washable. Replace when dirty, tips detach from stem or tips are no longer soft and pliable

  • 3M Reusable earplugs

    Reusable earplugs

    Uses: Many
    Care: Washable. Replace when flanges are damaged, torn or are no longer soft and pliable

  • 3M PELTOR Earmuffs

    Earmuffs

    Uses: Many
    Care: Headband and outside of cups are washable. Foam inserts inside cups are not. Replace bands when: damaged or they no longer provide enough tension to hold cups tightly over ears. Replace cushions and foam inserts: every six months or sooner if they are damaged or are no longer soft and pliable.

  • 3M Banded Hearing Protectors

    Banded hearing protectors

    Uses: Many
    Care: Bands and reusable tips are washable. Foam tips are not. Replace bands when damaged or they no longer provide enough tension to hold tips tightly in or on ears. Replace tips when they are damaged or are no longer soft and pliable.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: This information is based on selected current national requirements. Other State or local requirements may be different. Always consult User Instructions and follow local laws and regulations. This website contains an overview of general information and should not be relied upon to make specific decisions. Reading this information does not certify proficiency in safety and health. Information is current as of the date of publication, and requirements can change in the future. This information should not be relied upon in isolation, as the content is often accompanied by additional and/or clarifying information. All applicable laws and regulations must be followed.

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