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Metal Detectable Earplugs

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:13 PM

Hi All

Wondering if anyone could share their experiences with introducing metal detectable ear plugs into their factories.

We have probably 10 people who each day need to wear these for a few hours and I have some questions.

Can the employee reuse them? And if so, how often?
At what point should they put them on? Before hand washing?
How many do we issue to employees at a time or should we put a dispenser in the factory? ($$$)
Should we be keeping a track of who they're going to and how many?

Any tips or tricks for how you implemented the use of them? Unfortunately we are unable to use ear muffs. Employees dont like them they get too hot and sweatt in summer.

Thanks in advance!aeeef4a9c4deb260e1a73fb6d7332fc3.jpg

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:19 PM

In a bakery I worked at ear plugs were a must have with the uniform. So it was attached to our bump caps. They were re-usable and I had a pair that lasted forever. I would of course try and keep them clean. The policy was to put them in before entering the production area so that they were in before hand washing. We had extras available with all managers so that if someone from their team needed some they can distribute them. You just have to implement them as a company and if there are individuals who give you any problems, tell them that the company is looking our for their protection and ask why they are having issues. The bakery had various types of ear plugs of different sizes so that it wasnt an issue for different ears. 

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 08:32 PM

we disposable and place them in dispensers at each entrance along with hair nets, beard nets. 

These should be put on before washing hands, along with smocks, and other PPE.


Make sure to test your metal detectable plugs, pens, band aids at least monthly. 

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 07:53 PM

  I would suggest you test that your metal detectors are able to detect them and detect them in pieces if it is possible that items could be broken.  If not fully detectable then consider if it is worth spending the extra money on them. 

  We were asked by a customer to purchase metal detectable pens and zip ties.  We were able to show them that the normal click pens we purchase are detectable, even when broken apart so there was no need to spend the $9 per pen.  As for the zip ties, it was feasible for the large sizes but not for the smaller ones.  When tested we found that the smaller ones when broken in half were not detectable, they were only detectable when whole.  We were able to convince our customer that the bright smaller neon zip ties we use were visually eye catching over the dark blue as the smaller metal detectable ones, which are only effective with our metal detector equipment if the zip tie was in one piece. Would like to think they would be one piece but unfortunately real life for our facility has proven otherwise. - I am all for using new technology if it is effective.  

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 10:58 PM

The OP mentions that the ear plugs are worn for a "few hours".
Have you done a noise study to determine if they are actually required? 

I realize that you are in NZ, so your occupational safety rules may be different than the US.
Here, employees are outfitted with noise monitoring devices for the length of their shift, and a time weighted average is determined.
If the average db exposure is over a certain threshold, hearing protection, in that area, is required.


To your questions, It depends. How many employees need them?

If it's just a few, I'd spend the extra money for reusable and train employees on how to maintain them.
I'd require they be inserted prior to hand washing.
Either way, reusable or disposable, run a sample of each lot through your metal detector(s) and document the result.


If hearing protection is required by legislative fiat, it's simply a cost of doing business. Determine the best solution and document as necessary. If people are losing hearing protection in the product stream, one assumes the reason they are metal detectable is that they will be caught at the metal detector :)





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