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Ear muffs
Domain: Health and safety at work => Preventive measures => Personal protective equipment
Grammatical category
Noun phrase
Grammar notes
Earmuffs normally consist of hard plastic cups which fit over and surround the ears and are sealed to the head with soft cushions, usually filled with plastic foam or liquid. The cups are usually lined with sound absorptive material. They are connected by a tensioning band (headband), usually made of metal or plastics.

Other types of ear muffs A flexible head-strap is sometimes fitted to each cup or to the headband close to the cups. This strap is used to support the cups when the headband is worn behind the head or under the chin.
Some earmuffs have one cup intended only for the left ear and another only for the right ear. Helmet mounted earmuffs consist of individual cups attached to arms fixed to an industrial safety helmet and are adjustable so that they can be positioned over the ears when required.
Earmuffs with communication facilities are available using a wired or aerial system through which working signals, alarms, messages or entertainment programmes may be relayed.
Definition source
Jones 2003, adapted from BS EN 458:1994, Hearing protectors – Recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance – Guidance document (Section 4)
European legislation
Directives 89/188/EEC, 89/686/EEC, 2003/10/EC
British legislation
The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002; The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Contained in
Related terms
Concept diagram
Image source
Dossier INRS "Les équipements de protection individuelle de l'ouïe"