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Noise induced hearing loss is a major construction occupational hazard, and OSHA requires the use of hearing protection for workers exposed to hazardous noise levels. In construction, many loud tasks like drilling, cutting and grinding also require that workers don eye protection. Previous studies suggest that the combination of eye protection and earmuffs can reduce the effectiveness of earmuffs by breaking their “seal” around the ear. Researchers measured earmuff performance (Noise Insertion Loss or NIL) provided by three different commercially available earmuffs when study participants were exposed to noise coming from four different power tools, while wearing six different models of eye protection and assuming five different neck postures.


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