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Hearing protection isn’t just for adults — kids also need to protect their hearing when working in loud environments.  So if you spend quality time with your kids in the shop, buy ’em a pair of hearing protectors like these from AO Safety that are sized for youth and small adults.

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If you’ve ever worked on a job site where you’re outdoors as well as indoors, you might find yourself choosing between clear vision and proper eye protection. Tinted specs blind you indoors, and clear lenses don’t help with the glare outside. SmartLens safety glasses incorporate the same auto-dimming materials found in prescription specs, for safety glasses that dim in just 30 seconds.

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WorkTunes

We’ve covered earmuff-style hearing protection here, here, and here, but now AO Safety has built an AM/FM digital stereo tuner into its Digital WorkTunes hearing protectors. Sure, you could just wear earphones under normal muffs, but you probably wouldn’t put up with the hassle for long. With this self-contained system, you just put it on and go.

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You wear safety glasses in the shop because seeing is an important skill. But hearing is pretty damn useful, too. Yet in all the home shops we’ve visited we almost never see hearing protection. Try this: every time you throw on a pair of safety goggles or prepare to use heavy equipment, take a second to consider if the intensity and duration of noise warrants additional safety gear. Even simple low-cost products will provide you with a measurable level of protection — and a few more years before “WHAT?” is your standard response to any query.

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Another tip to the casual rattle-canner: pick up a decent respirator.  Yeah, you can probably “get away” with filling your lungs with chemicals and your nose with paint a few times, but why take a few years off your life when you can pick up the a bare minimum decent respirator for under $30?

We picked up the AO Safety model pictured above at Lowe’s for $29, though they list it online for $28.  Better yet, we found it on Amazon for $25.  It’s not the finest available, but it’s quite reasonable.  We didn’t have any trouble adjusting it for a good fit, and it made a big difference in how we felt after painting for a few hours.

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