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  • Emily Hyde

What is SNR? Plus more important points you need to know about hearing protection.

What is SNR?

Single Number Rating (SNR) refers to the depletion value which is typically efficient enough to provide the wearer protection from noise. It's the employer's responsibility to protect employee's hearing against loud noises in the workplace.

The higher the SNR the more the product reduces noise.

Every hearing protection product will come with an SNR, enabling you to compare the protection. Higher SNR products will provide more protection from sound to the wearer.

How loud is too loud?

As we mentioned in our Fun Facts: Hearing Protection blog, 85dB and above is the level at which noise becomes unsafe without the use of hearing protection. Therefore, you do not want noise levels to exceed 85dB. If they do, then you use the required SNR hearing protection to reduce the impact of noise. Above is a table to work out what SNR is required.

Hearing protection categories

BS EN 352-1 – Ear Muffs

BS EN 352-2 – Ear Plugs

BS EN 352-3 – Helmet Mounted Ear Muffs

BS EN 352-4 – Level-Dependent Ear Muffs

BS EN 352-5 – Active-Noise Reduction Ear Muffs

BS EN 352-6 – Ear Muffs with Electrical Audio Input

BS EN 352-7 – Level-Dependent Ear Plugs

Things you need to consider when choosing hearing protection

  • Sound level (frequency) of the risk (in dB)

  • SNR required to reduce impact of noise

  • Compatibility of hearing protection with other protection being worn.

  • Personal wearer circumstances e.g., do they wear prescription glasses or wear a hearing aid.

  • The need to communicate

  • The need to hear warning and emergency sounds

Here at DCC, we have an extensive range of hearing protection. Without doubt we will be able to kit out your team when it comes to PPE. Also, if your circumstances and working conditions change just speak with your dedicated account who will assess the situation with you and help you choose the correct hearing protection.


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