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Safe Work Practices for the Aggregates Industry December 14, 2017
Make sure you're up to speed with the IHSA manual on safe work practices for the aggregates industry.
2018 OSSGA Conference and AGM at Deerhurst Resort December 11, 2017
The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association welcomes its members to Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. Sharing our story and mastering our message is extremely important, and OSSGA has developed a conference agenda that will provide leadership, thought and guidance on doing just that. We have brought together an outstanding lineup of industry and keynote speakers combined with evening entertainment to deliver an impactful conference.
MNRF Finalizes Safe Harbour Habitat Policy December 1, 2017
The Safe Habour Habitat Policy has now been finalized and was broadened to include special concern species in addition to endangered and threatened species.
MPAC Update November 28, 2017
OSSGA has been advised that the Assessment Review Board (ARB) has issued procedural dates of February 2018 for the County of Wellington’s appeals on the current MPAC assessment, meaning that the procedural ‘timeline’ will commence at that point.
Niagara Region Aggregate Policies November 27, 2017
In 2014 Niagara Region initiated Phase 1 of a project to update the Region’s Official Plan policies for aggregate resources.
Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan November 26, 2017
In April 2017, Ontario announced a 16-point plan to help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the real estate market.
Industry Recognition Awards - Thank You for Your Submissions! November 24, 2017
Thank you to all the producers who sent in submissions for our Industry Recognition Awards – our members keep pushing the bar higher and higher!

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A Primer on Hearing Protection

July 5, 2017 at 1:20 PM

Hearing Protection

One form of controlling noise hazards is through the proper use of hearing protection devices (HPDs). Hearing protectors should be provided when engineering controls cannot be implemented or while such controls are being initiated.

Hearing protective devices are barriers that reduce the amount of noise reaching the sensitive inner ear. Fit, comfort, and sound reduction or “attenuation” are important considerations in choosing HPDs.

Commonly used hearing protection devices are either earplugs or earmuffs. Earplugs attenuate noise by plugging the ear canal. The muff-type protector is designed to cover the external part of the ear providing an “acoustical seal”.


Obviously, the effectiveness of an HPD depends on the amount of time it is worn. What is not obvious to most wearers is the drastic reduction in protection if HPDs are not worn in noise environments even for short periods of time.

The reduction in effectiveness can be as great as 95% or more if the protectors are not worn for as little as three or four minutes. It is therefore important to wear HPDs during the entire noise exposure period in order to achieve the maximum protection available.

The effectiveness of HPDS also depends on the manner in which noise is transmitted through or around the protector. The following points should be noted.

  • Even relatively small openings or air leaks in the seal between the hearing protector and the skin can typically reduce attenuation by 5 to 15 dB or more.
  • Constant movement of the head or body vibration can lead to air leaks, therefor making periodic adjustments necessary to ensure a proper seal.
  • Hair, especially long hair and facial hair, can cause a poor fit.
  • Proper fitting is crucial to obtaining a reasonable degree of protection from an HPD.
  • Earmuff effectiveness is greatly influenced by headband tension. If tension decreases through routine usage or alteration by the user, earmuff effectiveness is reduced.
  • Modifying the earmuff by drilling holes in the earcups renders the protection useless.
  • Anatomical differences such as ear canal size, jaw size, and heads of different shape and size may affect the fit of earmuffs and earplugs. To accommodate these differences, HPDs should be made available to users in various shapes and sizes.
  • Recreational headsets such as those used with radios and CD players are not to be used as hearing devices.

Based on Files from the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association: Construction Health and Safety Manual 2013 Edition