Why Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

why employees dont wear hearing protection

Reasons Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

Believe it or not, our hearing ability is a huge investment when it comes to work. That’s why it’s essential to take good care of our ear health while in the work field as much as possible.

There are several work environments that expose employees to noise levels that are actually unsafe and could promote hearing-loss such as places like construction sites or steel mills. It is vital for workers to keep a sound hearing ability as it is a crucial factor within the work environment, e.g. with regards to communication.

Without the use of proper hearing protection devices (HPD), workers may not be able to protect themselves from occupational noise exposure and thus it might be the case for them to acquire hearing impairment, or worse, hearing loss. This could also be the grounds for reduced productivity of workers in the field.

Unfortunately, most workers don’t wear HPD because of a number of reasons which affect their consideration to do so. Here they are:

Reason 1: Comfort Level


Wearing HPD for some workers depend on how they actually ‘feel’ while wearing them. The comfort level of any wearable device greatly matters. Wearing HPD that are built and designed with very little consideration to a wearer’s ease may in fact be the grounds of some workers to NOT wear them at all.

The solution for this Hearing Protection Device dilemma is to actually give a good amount of time to actually canvass and research about which types of HPD prefer, both ease and functionality. After all, a comfortable worker is a productive one.

Reason 2: Supply vs. Demand

3M Foam Corded Ear Plugs

Sometimes, certain work environments lack in supply of hearing protection devices, so that not all of the workers get to wear one. Because of such a HPD deficit, some employees tend to work with no aid of HPD in an excessively noisy environment, e.g. construction sites and airport fields, to name a few.


In other cases, workers tend to go from one area to another. That’s why areas which are prone to high levels of noise should have hearing protection available for roaming workers at all times.

Reason 3: Hearing Conservation Training

E-A-R Swerve Banded Hearing Protector

Companies that operate in environments with extreme noise levels should consider organizing Hearing Conservation Training for their workforce. Not only is it crucial for firms to consider the wellness of their workers but it can also help their employees work productively.

Also, promoting initial training can help workers gain knowledge on the importance of HPD usage to their own benefit as well as promote the habit of wearing HPD at work.

Reason 4: Noise Levels in an Environment

Thunder T3 Noise Ear Muffs

Of course, the demand on the use of hearing protection in the work field depends on the nature of work. More specifically, hearing protection device usage considers the levels of noise that are being produced in the environment plus the length of time that workers are exposed to such noise.

Simply put, if you work in an ordinary office environment then you would not need earplugs or earmuffs, since such environment has very little probability of exposure to extreme noise. The only earplugs you’ll be needing in an office are earphones so you can stay upbeat and groovy while at work.

On the contrary, work environments that are exposed to tremendous noise levels should always consider HPD for workers, e.g. power drills that register 98 decibels (dB) which could cause hearing damage in a matter of 30 minutes.

To sum it up, in working environments with noise level ranging from 85 dB (the “Action” level) and up, workers must consider wearing HPD to protect them from damaging their hearing ability.


Browse our selection Hearing Protection Devices.

Not sure what you need?

Give us a call and our Supply Specialists will be glad to assist you.

(800) 899-1255

Using Tacky Mats in Controlled Environments

Using Tacky Mats in Controlled Environments

Keep Clean with Adhesive Mats (AKA Tacky Mats)

Blue Tacky Mat in Lab

Stop Contamination at the Door!

Tacky mats, sticky mats, or adhesive mats, are specially designed mats which are used to keep work areas with controlled environments as clean as possible. Controlled environments are commonly found in aerospace manufacturing technology companies, pharmaceuticals, laboratories and food processing plants. Many manufacturers require clean and controlled environments to operate. Keeping those clean rooms clean can be a challenge. A dirty cleanroom can greatly impact these businesses and cause production or research to grind to a halt. To prevent such mishaps, simply consider using contaminant control such as tacky mats (AKA Adhesive Mats).

Tacky mats are designed with special adhesive sheets which help remove contaminants, dirt, dust and particles (which are initially carried at the bottom of shoes or cart wheels) and have an adhesive bottom material which secure the mats in place.

How to Use Tacky Mats

White Tacky Mat with wheel and foot marks

Setting-Up Tacky Mats

Setting up these tacky mats is pretty easy but care should be taken.. Adhesive Mats should be placed on clean and hard surface just before or just after the ingress/ egress point for each cleanliness or control change, ensuring that its position can accommodate maximum steps for each location.

Size and Color

Blue Tacky Mat with foot prints in hallway

It’s best to consider sizes that are as wide  or wider than the doorway. That way, the tacky mats can capture all debris before entering the controlled environment. The ideal length of sticky mats is that it should be long enough to accommodate two steps, considering  each foot is situated at different locations.


As for the color, we can assume that the lighter the tacky mats are, the better it is to spot whether the mats are ready to be changed and identifying how much dirt has been accumulated.


Nevertheless, using adhesive mats with darker shades is not really a big issue as long as the mats is keeping the  controlled environment clean and contaminant-free.


Tacky mats are available as blue adhesive mats, white adhesive mats, and grey adhesive mats in sizes 18″- 36″ wide and up to 5’ long.

Peeling Tacky Mats

Peeling Tacky Mats

To remove a layer, simply peel it back. Be careful not to haphazardly rip off layers. If you can, roll the layer into a ball as you peel. This helps keep contaminates from going into the air.

Stick with Tacky Mats


These are just some basic, yet vital tips before you consider using tacky mats. You’ve invested a lot in building your cleanroom, avoiding allowing contaminants in can save you an expensive clean-up of the controlled environment.

Eye Protection for Infection & Hazards

Protecting Your Eyes

eye protection

Isn’t it great to be at your best in everything you do? Whether its work or leisure, it pays to have good eyesight. There’s nothing like hours of diligent hard work at the machine shop with a project that’s waiting for promising pay. Having good vision lessens the risk of injuries and unwanted accidents.

No doubt that you and I want to have the same great moments at work or play, but unfortunately there are some things that can get in our way, particularly with our vision.

Eye injuries in the work place are very common. Thousands of U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries every day! Choosing the right eye protection minimizes potential exposure to hazards and infectious diseases via ocular exposure.

Imagine not being able to meet a project’s deadline because a smokey and dusty environment is making it seeing difficult seeing your work on a machine. Or, handling corrosive chemicals in the lab and you have no eye protection on? Can you even imagine medical professionals not using eye protection? Definitively not!

Reasons for Eye Injury

Dust, small particles, smoke, harmful chemicals and ocular diseases can all impact our vision. Chemicals and flying shards are just some of the hazards facing many modern workplaces. Healthcare workers, lab workers and janitorial staff are all prone to infectious diseases from eye exposure.

The 2 major reasons eye injuries/infection happen on the job are:

  1. No eye protection was being worn
  2. The wrong kind of eye protection was worn for the job

Some occupations that have a high risk of eye injuries/infection include:

  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical work
  • Maintenance
  • Lab work
  • Health/Dental care
  • Welding

Good eye protection provides a barrier to infectious or dangerous materials getting in your eyes.

Proper eye protection can actually help enhance your performance, improve your eyesight given the right kind of lens, and prevent exposure to harmful particles and harsh chemicals that might permanently harm your eyesight.

All you need to do is to pick the right the right kind of eye protection for your activity.

Picking Proper Protection

Safety Goggles

safety goggles

If you’re in an environment where chemicals are being used, there is a risk of it splashes getting into your eyes. Choose the safety goggles with an appropriate and comfy fit. Also, chooses ones that that reduce fogging also known as anti-fog safety goggles.

Full-Face Shield Eye Protection

full face shield

If you’re in a machine shop, you need a full-face shields, particularly when you are welding. This will keep your entire face from getting exposed to welding heat, sparks and smoke. You can use face shields as well on pretty much any kind of work akin to that of welding or any that keeps your entire face exposed to harmful materials.

In a medical or dental environment, using a full-face shield offers the most protection. Full-face shields cover more of the face and offer more protection from liquids in medical and dental applications.

Safety Glasses

safety glasses

For anything else less risky at the workplace , you can simply opt for safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust and flying fragments and even give your eyes protection from direct UV exposure. Safety glasses are ideal for impact protection but less so for splash or chemical protection.

Use the right eye protection in unison with other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves, isolation gowns, face masks and other items. Remember to opt for the right kind of eye protection either at work or play. You only get one set of eyes and you want to do your best to protect them.

Still not sure what you need?

Call our Harmony Supply Specialists (800 899-1255) to get just the right protection for your needs.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Swabs

1.     Homely Inspiration

The inventor of the modern cotton swab, Polish inventor Leo Gerstenzang, was inspired at home when he saw his wife sticking cotton balls onto the ends of toothpicks, and using this tool to clean out their child’s ears. Can you imagine doing that now? The original target audience for this new product was babies, and Q-Tips were first called “Baby Gays”.

2.     Boric Acid Baths

Original cotton Q-Tips were dipped in boric acid in the factory, as an idea to promote them as personal hygiene instruments. Boric acid has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and sterilized the swabs.

3.     Stuck on Wood

Cotton swabs were made exclusively with wooden shafts until 1958. The company bought another company that made paper sticks for candy, and used the paper shafts in their swabs. Now, swabs are made with various shaft materials, including polypropylene shaft swabs, paper shaft swabs, aluminum shaft swabs, and others.

4.     Swabbing Sailors

A swab is a piece of absorbent material on end of a shaft/stick.

Did you know the word swab comes from the 17th mid-century “swabber”, in the sense of a sailor swabbing the deck of a ship. Why did they even swab the decks? Well, loose gun powder on gun-decks (cannons!) was a significant fire hazard. Swabbing the decks with a mop (swab) dampened the powder and reduced fire risk. Regular maintenance of the decks also slowed decomposition and gave sailors something to do. (Idle hands lead to mutiny!)

5.     All Ears (But Not Really)

Cotton swabs are widely known for being used to clean out ears. However, using swabs to clean the INSIDE of your ears can actually have an opposite and detrimental effect. Improper usage can lead to compacting wax or damaging sensitive ear organs caused by pushing the swab into the ear too far. Be cautious when using swabs to clean out ears.


Nowadays swabs are super useful across many different fields! Swabs of various kinds are used in critical environment manufacturing, diagnostics, environmental surface sampling, food safety testing, forensics, healthcare, and pharmaceutical applications.

Modern swabs are made tough to scrub hard to reach places, or soft and gentle for use in electronics or sensitive components. Hopefully you learned something new about swabs (who knew!), and whatever your application is, we have the swab for the job.