What are Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) and Why Do They Matter?
An official Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a certification of the number of decibels a noise level can be reduced by the proper application of the device or item being tested. This rating is provided to choose a device that will help prevent hearing loss given their normal activities and usage.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) occupational noise exposure standard (29 CFR 1910.95), workers should wear personal protective equipment to prevent hearing loss when exposed to 85 dB or more over eight hours. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends the same, estimating that four million people work in hazardous noise levels every day. To help protect and educate workers, both organizations have various resources available, such as the OSHA Technical Manual on Noise and the NIOSH Guide to Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss.
To understand how Noise Reduction Ratings help you conserve your hearing, imagine you were standing next to a bulldozer with a noise level of 94 dB. When used correctly, Plugfones with an NRR of 26 dB can reduce the noise level from 94 dB to 84.5 dB, which falls below the potentially hazardous level. Learn more about calculating and using an NRR by referencing the OSHA Technical Manual on Noise, Appendix E.
Which NRR is Right For Me?
Every activity or workplace has a different noise level, but averages for certain types of activities can be referenced through an online list of noise databases provided by OSHA. Please see OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.95 standard for more information on selecting hearing protection.
While it is fun to listen to music or audiobooks on your earplug-earbud hybrids, Plugfones does not condone or encourage the abuse of corporate safety rules or OSHA regulations. If your workplace does not permit the use of our hearing protection products, Plugfones is not responsible if you use our products to violate company policies.
We understand that most of our customers use their Plugfones in rough or hazardous work environments. While our products are made with the highest quality materials, they are not indestructible. While working, we recommend protecting your Plugfones by handling them with reasonable care and storing them in a clean area. For safety, consider threading cables through your clothing to prevent them from getting caught on objects.