Below is a photo of my favorite hearing protection – the QB2HYG by Howard Leight. For most Safety Professionals (and others who are not in noisy areas all day) this may offer the best combination of protection, comfort, ergonomics, and price!
This unique type of hearing protector was specifically designed “for for people who are exposed to intermittent noise”. Most safety people I know divide their time between the office and the work-floor. Also, we move around allot, going from quiet areas to noisy areas and back to quiet areas.
When I was an company EHS Manager I would typically spend 30 – 50% of my time on the work floor. These banded ears plugs are perfect for folks like us who are regularly doffing and donning their hearing protection throughout the work day.
What I particularly like about this specific model is that it is:
- Super fast on and super fast off
- You don’t touch the ear plugs with dirty fingers
- 25 NRR rating (23 and 27 NRR models are also available)
- The brightly colored band is highly visible showing all that you are wearing your hearing protection
- The wearer almost always gets a perfect fit (difficult to partially insert them like with regular ear plugs)
- Because the fit is often better, the noise reduction achieved is often better
- The end of the plug does not go as deeply into the ear canal as a regular ear plug
- Less wax build up on the plug
- Easy to see if an employee is wearing their hearing protection
- The plug will not touch dirty surfaces when set down
- The foam plugs at the end of the band are easily replaced
- Can reuse the same unit for weeks without changing the foam plugs – just wash them off
- I’ve used the same banded ear plug unit for over four years with daily washings and monthly plug replacement
- Just hang them on a hook or nail when not in use
While we do like this particular type of hearing protection, we must remind you that all hearing protection must be selected based upon a thorough and professional assessment of the actual workplace noise exposures that the worker is exposed to.
Over the years I have used dozens of different types of hearing protection. These days, this is the only type of hearing protection that I own. I like them so much that I wear them whenever I’m doing consulting work in a noisy workplace, or mowing the lawn or using power tools at home.