Return to blog

When it comes to hearing protection for loud workplaces, business owners want to save money and purchase the cheapest option available to them. This cheaper option often comes in the form of disposable earplugs, regardless of the environmental concerns that are often associated with them. They purchase these disposable earplugs because they seem to be the most cost-effective hearing protection solution, but what if they are wrong? What if we were to say that in the long run, disposable earplugs cost hundreds of dollars more than investing in more permanent forms of hearing protection? Not only would the alternative save business owners in monetary costs, but also in productivity, employee safety, and overall business success. Let me explain how.

Productivity Issues and Employee Safety Concerns

Although it seems far-fetched, disposable hearing protection can cause a major dent in employee productivity, triggering significant downtime for a production process. Cheap disposable products are just that – cheap. They can pop out of a user’s ears unexpectedly, often without the user’s knowledge or intention. This robs valuable time from production while the worker must take the time to locate the dropped earplugs off the ground or worse, from inside the machinery. If the dropped earplugs make their way into the machinery, you could be looking at downtime to remove the earplugs and/or to repair damage from stray devices becoming lodged in the equipment. This time spent finding missing earplugs or going to grab a new pair costs productivity and efficiency greatly, especially considering the frequency with which this problem occurs.

Furthermore, when these earplugs pop out of employees’ ears, they put the employee in harm’s way. These disposable earplugs are not nearly as effective as quality noise-canceling headsets when they are in the user’s ears, and when you consider how often they fall out of the user’s ears, they become even more ineffective. An employee becomes susceptible to hearing loss, injury from machinery malfunctions, and psychological health complications.

Monetary Costs

Here comes the kicker – disposable earplugs will cost businesses hundreds of dollars more in the long run than a premium alternative. Considering that the average user can go through 7-10 sets per day, the actual cost of these disposable earplugs can be between $300-$500 (or more) per year.

Let us look at a more in-depth cost analysis:Disposable Earplugs Costs Add on the cost of lost productivity to find and replace lost earplugs along with costs associated with shut-downs because of wayward earplugs, and the cost/benefits of more permanent – or “owned” – earplugs and headsets start to make much more sense.

Overall Business Success

Given the arguments we have presented, disposable earplugs do not appear to be the wisest or most cost-effective route for employee hearing protection. Unfortunately, businesses often cannot see the long-term picture of cost savings from quality noise-canceling headsets. The effect a small change can have on the overall success of a company may surprise business owners.

Industry leaders, business owners, and employers who are interested in protecting employees, fostering a professional work environment, and enjoying an integrity-based success story may find that disposable earplugs are far from satisfactory. Making the transition to more permanent forms of hearing protection can potentially increase productivity, keep employees safe, create an atmosphere of professionalism, and improve long-term costs. With Sensear’s headsets, you get the added benefit of SENS® Technology, bringing the highest level of hearing protection to your team while ensuring they can communicate without interruption.

For more information on how to switch from disposable to permanent forms of hearing protection, contact a high-noise communication specialist or download our guide on how to choose the best headsets for your industry, your needs, and your environment.

New call-to-action

  Download Sensear's 7 Degrees of Hearing Loss Infographic