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How to properly wear ear plugs

Hearing protection plays a critical role in many industrial workplaces. Heavy-duty equipment and machines are often loud and could cause significant damage to workers' hearing. Companies may invest in ear plugs that could limit exposure to excessive noise, but they are only effective when workers know how to wear them properly.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  recommends following the steps below to get the best hearing protection possible with ear plugs:

1. Employees should grasp the ear plug firmly in their fingers. Roll the plug into a small, thin strand, making insertion easier.

2. Pull the top of the ear back and up to straighten out the ear canal. This can be done with the hand opposite the ear, and should allow the ear plug to slide into place.

3. Hold the ear plug in place and count aloud for 20 to 30 seconds. Counting aloud will allow workers to hear when a good seal has been created, as their voice will become muffled.

4. Ensure the ear plug is firmly inserted in the ear canal. If workers find the plug is loose, they should restart the process.

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