Foam ear plugs are soft and malleable devices that work similarly to wax and soft silicone ear plugs, providing a more comfortable fit due to being more mouldable to fit the ear canal better. Before use, pairs of foam ear plugs can be easily manipulated to adjust their shape and size to best suit the user. They are typically single-use products, but the ability to adjust their internal positioning so easily makes them incredibly effective against noise pollution, dust or excessive wind.
Ear plugs are commonly used in construction, engineering and manufacturing industries to protect workers from the effects of excessive noise, dust, wind or even water. It's important to remember that while earplugs are employed help protect employee's ears, they should not be used as an alternative to controlling and maintaining safe noise levels and this should be managed as best as possible by management. Ear plugs must fit properly and must be worn correctly for them to effectively do the job of protecting workers' ears and reducing the noise level. Under the control of noise at work regulation all employers must provide suitable hearing protection to employees where noise exceeds 80 dB (A).
The SNR value is a European standard wherein the higher the SNR, the higher the level of noise attenuation (the lessening of noise severity) provided by the earplugs. Remember that the SNR value is a guide only. Independent laboratories test ear plugs to determine their SNR value. The SNR value can be used to compare the level of noise attenuation offered by different hearing protectors.