All working environments have risks. And, by law, all employers have to put steps in place to minimize these risks as much as possible. In certain environments, this can involve providing ear protection for all workers. In this blog post, we are going to help you get a better understanding of the different sorts of occupations that require ear protection.

Noise levels

There is only one place to begin when it comes to ear protection and different occupations, and this is with the noise levels in the working environment in question. Noise levels are measured in decibels. The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has published figures regarding the length of time that a person could experience a level of decibel noise before they are at risk of suffering from hearing damage. As per OSHA, for 115 decibels, a person should not be subject to this for more than 20 minutes. For 100 decibels, the maximum is two hours. For 95 decibels, the maximum is four hours. For 92 decibels, the maximum is six hours. Finally, for 90 decibels, the maximum is eight hours.


Now that we have cleared up the safety levels in terms of decibels, let’s take a look at some examples regarding occupations that require ear protection. If you work on the tarmac at any airport, ear protection is simply a necessity. A jet engine is one of the loudest noise sources in any sort of work environment, producing 140 decibels of noise. No matter what sort of role you have, whether it is air traffic control or simply cleaning the planes, you are going to experience the loud noises the jets make, and so protection is mandatory.


There are lots of different pieces of equipment that are used in construction and can cause hearing problems. This includes cranes, concrete cutters, bulldozers, pile drivers, chainsaws, and jackhammers. A bulldozer, for example, produces between 100 and 109 decibels. A jackhammer is incredibly noisy, producing 130 decibels. Therefore, it is not hard to see why ear protection is needed.


The final occupation we are going to take a look at is that of a factory worker. From the roaring of a circular saw to the clanging and banging of a steel mill, factories aren’t known for being peaceful. Sounds can rapidly reach a dangerous level, especially when you consider that sound cannot easily disperse because you are in an indoor environment. Because of this, your employer should provide you with some form of effective ear protection to make sure that you are fully protected.

So there you have it: hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different sorts of jobs that require ear protection. If you suspect that you may be experiencing hearing problems due to your work environment, or anything else for that matter, it is important to book an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is allow the issue to get worse.