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Selecting the proper earplug

Fit-testing allows a worker to try a variety of hearing protectors that may be suitable. Often, the worker’s first choice of earplugs is not the best. Here are some selection tips that have proven useful in one-on-one training.

General earplug shapes

  • Size:
    Look at the ear canal opening to determine if a different size would be helpful. Women often have smaller ear canals than men.
  • Shape:
    Ear canal openings may appear as round, oval or a slit. A foam earplug often fills an oval or slit in the ear canal.
  • Ease of insertion:
    An earplug with a stem may be easier for some workers to insert.