Decibels (dB) are a measurement of environmental noise. The following chart from the United States Department of Labor showcases a spectrum of sounds and their decibel levels:


Source: United States Department of Labor

  • When looking into hearing protection devices, you will see the acronym: “NRR”. The noise reduction rating (NRR) refers to the amount of sound (dB) reduction a hearing protection device provides when worn properly.
  • The higher the NRR number, the more hearing protection. A pair of NRR 30 rated earplugs would provide more auditory protection than a NRR 27 rated pair of earplugs.
  • OSHA standards require the use of ear protection for employees that are exposed to noise at or above 85 dB for an 8-hour weighted average.

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