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Don’t lift to listen in noisy environments – use Peltor III

Working in noisy environments usually requires the need to wear hearing protection, but also it's common that you need to speak or listen to a colleague. The most common and instinctive thing to do is lift your earmuff. In doing so, you are now exposed to the dangerous noise levels you are trying to filter out.


Noise-induced hearing loss  (NIHL) can affect anyone, and at any age. Last year there were 20,000 people in the UK who suffered from NIHL, caused or made worse by working in noise-related environments.#1

Hearing damage is different from most other hazards. If we cut ourselves on something we feel pain, we will note what has happened and take steps to remove the hazard and try not to do the same in future, however with noise it's different.

With noise exposure it's worthwhile to understand a few things, as are below:

  • Hearing loss usually doesn’t hurt, so in most instances we don’t suffer any pain while the noise is damaging our hearing.
  • Our ears can’t be shut off to loud noises – so unless we block them, every sound will reach our ears.
  • We cannot see the damage being done – noise is invisible, so we can't see the danger.
  • Most hearing loss is gradual – it often happens over many years and by the time we notice anything, it’s too late.

Our hearing can be damaged by loud sounds irrespective of whether we regard it as noise or something pleasant, once damaged your hearing and life may never sound the same.

To understand sounds around us and the impact they make, take a look at the video below:

We started by talking about the risk of “lifting” your hearing protection to communicate to with others around you and the serious risk of doing so, however, there is a solution from 3M with the PeltorTM ProTac  III range:


The ProTac III Headsets feature a level-dependent function for ambient listening. This helps you to focus on your work and still be able to communicate with colleagues in noisy environments, without removing the hearing protection. They also provide stereo feedback that will allow you to hear and determine the direction of alarms, warning cries, backing vehicles and so on.

  • Slim Headset – Helmet Attachment - MT13H220P3E 25dB (123-8887)
  • Slim Headset – Headband - 2MT13H220A (123-8886)
  • Headset – Helmet Attachment - MT13H221P3E - (123-8889)
  • Headset – Headband - MT13H221A 32dB (123-8888)


Source extracted from:

#1 Reported on HSE website:

All other information and images from 3MTM

With a background in electronics and electrical engineering, with a keen eye on innovation and how things work.