Ear Protection in the Mining Industry

Tailored Ear Protection to Combat NIHL in the Mining Industry

  Some of the most alarming statistics of the 21st century are those relating to the steady increase in the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL. This condition was once relatively uncommon outside of the workplace, but urban living, with its constant cacophony of traffic and construction noise, combined with a modern lifestyle in which rock concerts, discotheques and mobile music players abound, has led to a gradual expansion of the previous demographic to include people of all ages and from all walks of life. Legislation to protect the general public from such excesses is slow in materialising, but the provision of ear protection by employers for those required to work in environments where noise levels consistently exceed 85 decibels is now a well-established legal requirement in South Africa.

Hearing Protection Earplugs (Custom-Made)

For Maximum Hearing Protection, Only Custom-Made Earplugs are Effective

  Apart from using them as a means of hearing protection, there are other sound reasons why an individual may choose to wear earplugs. One of the most common of these is simply to get a good night’s sleep. Many of those who live in noisier areas, who have a partner with a snoring habit, or who are simply light sleepers, often find that they are sufficient to exclude most external sounds, thus making it easier for them to drop off to sleep, and to prevent being re-awakened by every creak or rattle.

Custom-Made Hearing Protection

Custom-Made Hearing Protection is Essential in Many Work Environments

While there has been a steady decline in the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss in the industrial sector, the condition has certainly not been eliminated from the workplace. In addition, WHO statistics indicate that the overall incidence of NIHL has actually increased, and that excessive noise should now be recognised as the leading cause of auditory impairment worldwide. The apparent contradiction between the two sets of statistics is easily explained. In most industrialised countries, including South Africa, legislation has made it mandatory for employers to supply those workers who are required to work in noisy condition with some form of hearing protection, although not necessarily custom made. Despite the legislation, however, cheap inferior products, lack of surveillance, discomfort and human nature mean that not all workers are adequately protected