The University of Iowa

PPE Hearing Protection Information

Note: If you have or use hearing protection, please contact EHS if your area has not had a noise survey by EHS.


Hearing protectors are required to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Hearing protection devices reduce the noise energy reaching and causing damage to the inner ear. Ear muffs and earplugs are the most common types of PPE.

Hearing Protection Use

PPE for hearing protection is required for employees who are exposed to noise levels equal to or greater than 85 decibels averaged over an eight-hour period.

Purchase Sources

General Stores stocks a selection of hearing protectors, which can be obtained with a safety requisition form.

Hearing Protection Standard

When employees are exposed to noise levels over 85 dBA/TWA, the standard requires that a Hearing Conservation Program be implemented. Required elements are:
1.  Noise evaluations.
2.  Selection of hearing protection.
3.  Initial training.
4.  Annual refresher training.