Understanding Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR)

Guided tours of popular manufacturing facilities/factories, from breweries to aircraft
manufacturers, provide visitors with a unique and memorable behind-the-scenes look at the
manufacturing process. Some manufacturing facilities, however, can provide a challenge due
to their noise level. In these cases, a tour system equipped with noise reduction headphones
may be required to both help guests hear the tour guide and to provide guests with adequate
hearing protection. This document will provide an overview of how noise reduction rated
headphones are rated and how they perform based on their Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).

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Introduction to OSHA Noise Regulations

Key Points

  • OSHA’s Hearing Conservation Program was developed with a focus on preventing hearing loss from occurring.
  • A variety of tools can be used to prevent hearing loss and meet OSHA compliance. It’s important to select the best solution based on the problem.
  • Although the costs of compliance can be high, both employees and the company benefit from hearing conservation programs.
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Communication + Hearing Protection

Factory tours are an ideal way to show investors, VIPs, the community and others the value of your business.

Noise in factories and plants is a significant issue.

Every year, 22 million people are exposed to noise at work that’s so loud it can potentially cause permanent hearing loss. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimates $242 million is spent each year on workers’ compensation due to hearing loss. In 2017, OSHA fined businesses more than $1.5 million for not adequately protecting employees from noise.

Hearing protection is essential for everyone on the manufacturing floor, even those on factory tours. So how can you adequately protect your guests’ hearing while showing off your facility?

Hearing protection is vital for everyone

Loud noises can be dangerous. They can cause hearing loss—temporary or permanent. However, the extent of the damage is determined by the length of exposure and the noise level. Experts say noises above 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage. For example, a conversation usually is around 60 decibels. An idling bulldozer hits 85 decibels.

Loud noises damage or destroy hearing, but how? Inside the inner ear is the organ of Corti, which is responsible for hearing. It reacts when its microscopic hair cells are activated, ultimately stimulating the nerves for hearing, which carry sound to the brain. The frequency of the sound determines which and how many hair cells are activated. When you listen to loud noises, you can damage or break the hair cells. That, in turn, hurts your hearing.

Communication + hearing protection

When you’re hosting important people on factory tours, they need to be able to hear you. It’s also helpful if you can listen to them. However, you don’t want to take any chances with their hearing.

ListenTALK is the solution you need. This easy-to-use communication system is wireless and portable, and you determine what kind of headset to use. If you’re on a noisy factory floor, you can choose headphones that offer added ear protection. What makes it even better is the sensitive internal mic. Even on a noisy factory floor, you don’t need to hold it up to your mouth. All you need to do is wear it around your neck on a lanyard and push the talk button to speak. Plus, the tour leader unit isn’t the only one with a mic. Everyone on factory tours can talk to the leader and each other, for guaranteed clear two-way communication. It’s also lightweight, and guests can attach it to their belts or purses with a clip, or use a lanyard.

Because loud noises can permanently damage hearing, it’s important not to neglect hearing protection for everyone on your factory floor. That includes your guests on VIP factory tours. ListenTALK will help protect everyone’s hearing, while also providing crystal-clear communication. Are you ready to try a unit?

Listen Technologies