Minneapolis' Proposed Ear Plug Ordinance

3/27/2014 3:43:00 PM
By Clive Young
Jacob Frey
On April 29, the City Council in Minneapolis will vote on a proposed ordinance that would require all bars, restaurants and sports and music venues with liquor licenses to provide free ear plugs to all patrons. Sponsored by city councilman Jacob Frey, the hearing protection would be provided to venues gratis by corporate partners 3M and Miracle Ear, both of which are based in the region.
 
“It’s more of an inspirational ordinance than a regulatory one,” said entrepreneur Brian Felsen, who first proposed the idea to Frey and brought in the corporate backing. “There’s been some different items brought up from different establishments and the public, because they didn’t fully understand what the ordinance was and how it works. The city’s not going to go into clubs and shut the place down if people aren’t wearing them; it’s simply hearing protection has to be there to take for free if you need it. It’s compliance that the venues have to have the dispensers and hearing protection available at all times. If club owners don’t have inventory up or accessible to the public, there can be some warnings, so it is an ordinance that they will have to follow, but only to the extent of having the dispensers fully stocked.”
 
As currently written, the proposed ordinance reads:
364.115. Hearing protection devices. All Class A and Class B on-sale liquor, wine and beer licensees shall have and make available, free of charge, hearing protection devices to all patrons and employees. Such single-use earplugs must have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of at least thirty (30) decibels. The requirement imposed by this section shall not apply unless the license official has identified a source or supplier of such hearing protection devices that is capable of providing sufficient devices free of charge to all such establishments. The license official may develop reasonable rules regarding required signage or notification to patrons regarding the devices and their availability.
Read the full story on this proposed ordinance here.
 
What do you think? Should governments mandate that hearing protection be made available in venues or is it a personal responsibility of venue customers to look out for their own hearing? Share your thoughts below!
 

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