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How to correctly insert and check earplugs

Posted by Shane Carroll on 28 May 2019
Shane Carroll
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Earplugs are a must for many people, whether you're working in a noisy environment, or need to block out noise to get to sleep at night.  Although earplugs are now available with up to level 5 protection (the highest level of protection for Australian and New Zealand standards), like other equipment, they can only provide that protection if worn correctly.  Here's a quick guide to fitting and checking your earplugs.


Important Rules For Using Earplug Hearing Protection

  • Always follow all earplug fitting instructions
  • Avoid over-protection in low noise environments – it's important to be aware of your surroundings, so you need to be able to communicate with co-workers or hear warning signals on the job.  Choose protection suitable for the noise levels in your workshop.
  • Check your earplugs before putting them in for dirt, damage or hardness – discard immediately if any of these are found.
  • Single-Use earplugs must be discarded after use
  • Multiple-Use earplugs can last for 2-4 weeks with proper maintenance -  clean them with mild soap/water and store in a case when not being used.
  • Clean and replace pods on banded earplugs regularly

Fitting Your Earplugs


1. Roll the earplugs

 First off, with clean hands you want to start gently rolling your earplug between your fingers, gradually applying more pressure, until the earplug is as narrow as you can get it.

You want to gradually apply the pressure so that the earplug remains smooth while rolling and doesn’t end up with creases or twists which can reduce the effectiveness of the plug once its in your ear.

 Earplug - rolling

2. Pull back your ear

 Once the plug is compressed as much as possible, with your opposite hand, pull your ear up and back to open up the ear canal.

 Earplug - pull back ear

3. Insert the earplug

 Now slide the compressed earplug into your ear as far as is comfortable, and hold the plug for 30-60 seconds until it is fully expanded.

 A correctly inserted ear plug should look like this, and you should not be able to see the plug standing front on.

 Earplug - inserting

Noise Check

 To check the effectiveness of your earplugs, once they are inserted, stand in a noisy environment and cup your hands over you ears and release.  If the earplugs are inserted correctly, you shouldn’t notice any significant noise difference. 

 Earplug - noise check

Removing Your Earplugs

To remove the earplugs, simply twist and gently pull them out.  For engineering environments, we suggest discarding the earplugs immediately after use and grabbing a clean pair when you start work again.

 Earplug - removing

Click here to download a printable PDF Earplug Fitting Guide

If you’re having trouble finding the earplugs with the right level of protection and comfort, contact us, and we’ll help you find the perfect fit!


Hearing Protection Selection Guide

Weldclass Promax Bullet Earplugs

Single use, bullet shape earplugs

Class 5, 26dB
Box 200 pairs
Bag 500 pairs

Weldclass Bullet Earplug Class 5

Howard Leight Neckband Earmuffs

Neckband earmuffs - low profile, designed for use with visors, hats and other PPE

Class 5, 30dB


Howard Leight Max Earplugs

Single use, bell shape earplugs

Class 5, 26dB
Box 200 pairs
Pack 400 pairs

Max Earplugs

Howard Leight Hardhat Earmuff

Hardhat earmuffs - with adapters to fit a wide range of popular hard hats

Class 5, 28dB


Esko Vortex Bullet Earplug

Single use, short bullet shape earplugs

Class 5, 26dB
Box 200 pairs

Bag 500 pairs

Esko Bullet Earplug Class 5

Howard Leight Headband Earmuff 

Headband earmuffs - comfortable over-the-head padded foam headband

Class 5, 29dB


Howard Leight Max-Lite Earplugs

Single use, rocket shape earplugs

Class 4, 25dB
Box 200 pairs

Pack 400 pairs

Max-Lite Earplugs

Howard Leight Neckband LowProfile Earmuff

Low-Profile Neckband earmuffs - ultra-slim, low-profile designed to fit comfortably under welding helmets

Class 4, 25dB


Esko Silicon Corded Earplugs (Reusable)

Reusable, washable TPR corded earplugs

Class 4, 22dB
Box 200 pairs

Bag 500 pairs

Esko Silicon Corded Earplugs (Reusable)

Howard Leight Folding Earmuff Class 4/25dB

Folding earmuffs - compact folding design for easy storage

Class 4, 25dB


Click here to view Euromarc's full range of head and ear protection equipment


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Topics: Safety