Hearing Protection Basics
The intensity of sound is measured in decibels (dB). The scale runs from 0 dB, the faintest sound the human ear can detect, to over 180 dB. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), " When employees are subjected to sound exceeding 85 dB in an eight hour period, feasible administrative of engineering controls shall be utilized. If such controls fail to reduce levels, personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be provided and used."
The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is the measurement in decibels of how well hearing protection reduces noise as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The higher the number, the greater the noise reduction when properly used.