It is the consensus opinion of the Task Group that hearing conservation is a critical component of a responsible LEO health and safety program. However, the discussion of the specifics of these programs is beyond the scope of this document.5
Hearing protection devices (HPD) should be used during firearm training. The removal of hearing aids during firearm training is strongly recommended. The police physician should inform the AHJ of the value of HPD in firearm training.
Hearing protection is provided by earmuffs and earplugs, which are graded by noise reduction rating (NRR). The NRR typically ranges from 21 to 27 dB for reusable earplugs, 28 to 33 dB for single-use foam earplugs, and 17 to 31 dB for earmuffs.
It is the consensus of the Task Group that LEOs wear double hearing protection (earplugs and earmuffs) in training (due to impact noise levels of 150 to 165 dB) to minimize risks of hearing loss. If possible, firearms training should occur outdoors to reduce noise exposure from noise reflective surfaces. LEOs should be diligent about using hearing protection when shooting in training environments.6