Noise-related hearing loss – Overview of Custom Protect Ear

July 5, 2018

Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common occupational hazards affecting 25% of US workers. It’s the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Repetitive, excessive noise is the main contributor to long-term hearing problems. It’s also a dangerous distraction, one that can cause other, more immediate and serious workplace accidents.

In response, many businesses use disposable earplugs to protect their employee’s hearing.

But if the earplugs don’t fit properly…

  • are uncomfortable
  • or prevent the employee from communicating
  • they may leave the employee’s hearing at risk.

Custom Protect Ear’s Mission is to eliminate Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Our dB Blockers address all these issues to deliver three key benefits. First, dB Blockers are extremely comfortable – which means people are willing to wear them, for their entire shift. Second, people wearing dB Blockers hear each other better – which improves workplace safety, communication and productivity. And third, dB Blockers are more cost-effective than disposable hearing protectors, so you pay less for a better product.

CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO ON NOISE RELATED HEARING LOSS 

How do we do it? We focus only on custom hearing protection

It starts with more than 40 years of research and development in hearing loss prevention.

That dedication has enabled us to make significant technological advancements in hearing protection, earn ISO 9001 certification and deliver a complete portfolio of products to more than 4500 international businesses in a broad range of industries. One of the keys is our custom-fit program, available throughout North America and internationally.

All dB Blockers are custom-fit to each user’s ear.

They’re also made from a super-soft, medical-grade SkinSoft silicone. This makes them exceptionally comfortable while providing a perfect seal, for excellent hearing protection. An exact fit also means dB Blockers provide excellent noise protection while eliminating itching… painful pressure points…and the need to wear bulky ear muffs. And, they come in a wide range of models, so you can choose the dB Blockers that match your workplace needs. You can also use the serial number to order a pair of dB Blockers for home, sleeping, swimming, or listening to music.

In addition to being extremely comfortable, dB Blockers are technologically advanced. Every pair of vented dB Blockers employs our proprietary “FT filters”. These work to block out background noise, while honing in on the frequency range of the human voice. As a result, people can hear each other better with dB Blockers, than without them.

People working in noise also prefer dB Blockers because they can be connected to numerous communication devices, including

  1. two-way radios
  2. Bluetooth cell phones and
  3. other audio components and devices.

Since employees don’t have to remove dB blockers to communicate with co-workers Or while talking on the phone or radio, their hearing is protected for an entire shift.

Finally, because dB Blockers can be worn for years, they provide significant cost savings over disposables.

That means you’ll save money while increasing compliance…

  • improving workplace safety…
  • enhancing communications…
  •  and boosting productivity.

Smart, right?

Custom Protect Ear, the North American Leader in industrial, custom hearing protection.

Because when you think about it, everything else… is just noise.

 

Hear in Noise Video Collection

June 5, 2018

After a few months of collaboration and creativity, we would like to present you with our latest Video Collection about Custom Protect Ear and our Innovative products, dB Blockers™, dB Com™, dB Life™ and dB Cares™. Below you will find the following videos:

  1. Noise-related hearing loss: Overview of dB Blockers
  2. Hearing Protection You Can Hear Through: Communication

  3. dB Blockers: How We Make dB Blockers at Custom Protect Ear

  4. dB Blocker: How to Wear

Please share these video’s with the world and spread the news about Hearing Loss Prevention.


Noise-related hearing loss: Overview of dB Blockers

Overview Video of Custom Protect Ear’s Manufacturing process on custom hearing protection. Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common occupational hazards affecting 25% of US workers. Custom Protect Ear’s Mission is to eliminate Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.

Our dB Blockers address all these issues to deliver three key benefits.

  1. dB Blockers are extremely comfortable – which means people are willing to wear them, for their entire shift.
  2. Second, people wearing dB Blockers hear each other better – which improves workplace safety, communication and productivity.
  3. And third, dB Blockers are more cost-effective than disposable hearing protectors, so you pay less for a better product.

Learn More about dB Blockers 

Hearing Protection You Can Hear Through: Communication

Good communication is critical in every workplace. But communicating can be challenging at a noisy job site, where it’s necessary to protect workers’ hearing. When properly inserted, disposable hearing protectors block most of the sound, rendering users functionally deaf. To have a conversation the earplugs must be removed, leaving workers exposed to harmful noise levels, which can damage their hearing.

At Custom Protect Ear, we address this problem. That’s why we developed our super-comfortable dB Blockers; re-usable, personalized custom-fit earplugs which protect AND connect, through our proprietary “frequency tuned”, or “FT” filters.

Learn More about dB Com.

dB Blockers: How We Make dB Blockers at Custom Protect Ear

Your ears are as unique as you are. So shouldn’t your hearing protectors be unique too? At Custom Protect Ear, we custom-fit every pair of dB Blockers… …because it’s the only way to provide complete hearing protection and all-day comfort.

The fitting process typically takes place at the job site. We’re the only maker of custom hearing protection that takes impressions using our own trained and certified employees allowing us to own the process from beginning to end.

Throughout the process, our top priority is ensuring a comfortable fit, optimum performance, and reliability. Because we know that if your earplugs don’t feel good, you won’t wear them – and that could put your hearing at risk. Custom Protect Ear manufacturing is ISO9001 certified.

Learn More about the Implementation Process.

 

dB Blockers: How to Wear

How to Wear your dB Blockers.
To get the best comfort, fit, and protection from your dB Blockers, it is important to make sure you are wearing them and using them properly. To start, let’s take a quick look at the instruction card that came with your earplugs. Follow Video along with the Instruction card.

Learn more about How to Wear dB Blockers™ 

Loud noise on the job are at increased risk for hypertension and high cholesterol

May 22, 2018

Cincinnati — Workers exposed to loud noise on the job are at increased risk for hypertension and high cholesterol – key risk factors for heart disease – according to a recent study from NIOSH.

worker-hivis-jackhammer

Using 2014 National Health Interview Survey data of nearly 23,000 workers, researchers estimated the prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing difficulty and heart conditions within U.S. industries and occupations. They also looked at the association between workplace noise exposure and heart disease.

The researchers found a link between a history of noise exposure at work and a significantly elevated risk of both high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Other findings:

  • The industries with the highest prevalence of occupational noise exposure were mining (61 percent), construction (51 percent) and manufacturing (47 percent).
  • Occupations with the highest prevalence of occupational noise exposure were production (55 percent); construction and extraction (54 percent); and installation, maintenance and repair (54 percent).
  • Occupational noise exposure contributed to 58 percent of hearing difficulty cases, 14 percent of hypertension cases and 9 percent of elevated cholesterol cases.

“This study provides further evidence of an association of occupational noise exposure with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the potential to prevent these conditions if noise is reduced,” Elizabeth Masterson, study lead author and NIOSH epidemiologist, said in a March 21 press release. “It is important that workers be screened regularly for these conditions in the workplace or through a health care provider so interventions can occur. As these conditions are more common among noise-exposed workers, they could especially benefit from these screenings.”

Safety

The study was published online March 14 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

SOURCE:

Workers Safety Series | Protect Yourself from Harmful Worksite Noise

March 19, 2018

Why is job site noise control important?

According to OSHA, exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss.

For example, construction sites have many noisy operations and can be a significant source of noise exposure. Loud noise can also reduce worker productivity and contribute to workplace accidents by making it difficult to hear warning signals. Hearing loss from loud noise limits your ability to hear high frequencies, understand speech, and reduces your ability to communicate, which can lead to social isolation.

Hearing loss can affect your quality of life by interfering with your ability to enjoy socializing with friends, playing with your children or grandchildren, or participating in other activities. Damage to your hearing can be prevented, but once permanent noise-induced hearing loss occurs, it cannot be cured or reversed.

Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, so you may not realize it is happening until it is too late. Noise can also affect your body in other ways. A recent study found that workers persistently exposed to excessive occupational noise may be two-to-three times more likely to suffer from serious heart disease than workers who were not exposed.

Construction Workers

Photo by Yuri Kim

 You may have hearing loss if:

  • You have a hard time hearing people in groups or meetings or if there is background noise.
  • People sound as if they are mumbling.
  • You have to ask people to repeat what they say.
  • You have trouble understanding others on the telephone.
  • You have ringing or noises in one or both ears.
  • You have trouble hearing back-up alarms or the ringing of a cell phone

So, the bad news is – Hearing Loss; The good news is – there is a smart hearing loss protection option available to protect you from experiencing hearing loss. And no, it’s not your grandpa’s hearing protection, it’s a light easy to wear solution, called dB Blockers.

Remember those big clunky earmuffs you used to HAVE to wear while working in a noisy workplace; you know the ones that kept falling off your head because it just didn’t fit? Well if you do, that is not happening anymore. In today’s industrial world, Personal Protective Equipment has gone through some changes.

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE DB BLOCKER ADVANTAGE?

db Blockers

dB Blockers™ are hearing protection products made to fit the individual’s ear exactly, giving the worker a personalized, custom hearing protector (earplug) which can be worn all day long, while receiving “REAL WORLD” attenuation*.  dB Blocker™ custom molded hearing protectors (earplugs) are made from a Skinsoft™ blend of medical grade silicones, which is as soft and flexible as your own skin.

One of the problems with any hearing loss prevention program is getting people to wear hearing protectors and policing their use. However, with dB Blockers™ compliance is easy because they are comfortable. dB Blockers are custom molded so they only fit one way; the correct way, like a key in a lock, so it is not necessary to check insertion.

HEAR WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

” I am happy to recommend Custom Protect Ear’s dB Blockers for use by our employees at our plant.

I have had and continue to have the pleasure of working with the Custom Protect Ear (CPE) team for the past two years as we have provided all of our employees with dB Blockers.

Since the initial fitting and subsequent implementation of these earplugs, we have seen a 100% reduction in employee Standard Threshold Shift’s (STS’s) during our annual hearing surveys, and fully expect this trend to continue in the future.

The CPE team provided all of the resources needed to fit all of our employees and future hired employees. Employees simply are fitted, and within three weeks their new dB Blockers arrive and are immediately utilized by the employee(s) while working in our production areas, where the average noise level is 92 dB’s.

Without hesitation, I recommend Custom Protect Ear, their team, and the dB Blocker earplugs as a valuable part of your hearing conservation program.”

Sincerely,

Safety & Environmental Manager
Company Confidential.

Learn why more companies are choosing dB Blockers.


SOURCE

OHSA POCKET GUIDE: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3498noise-in-construction-pocket-guide.pdf

*attenuation

To make slender, fine, or small: The drought attenuated the river to a narrow channel. To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken: Medicine attenuated the fever’s effect.
Electronics To reduce (the amplitude of an electrical signal) with little or no distortion.

 2018 Olympics- be prepared and protected!

February 20, 2018

 2018 Olympics- be prepared and protected!

Well, it looks like the Olympics are in full swing ahead.  The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, more commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is an international multi-sport event currently being held from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, with the opening rounds for certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony—8 February 2018.

Pyeongchang was elected as the host in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. It marks the first time South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics, and the second Olympics in the country overall after the 1988 Summer Olympics in the nation’s capital, Seoul.

The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports, with the addition of “big air” snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic program. 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are expected to compete.

2018-Olympics-
Protection Against Hearing Loss at the 2018 Olympics

With exposure to observing great athletes also puts spectators at risk of damaging their hearing from the noise in the stadiums. In previous Olympic games “officials have admitted that noise levels in the stadia have regularly been over 100 decibels, with the boxing arena hitting 113.7db during a fight involving Irish boxer Katie Taylor.” Exposure to loud noise above 85 decibels over time can cause permanent hearing damage and with the closing ceremony fast approaching, the decibel level is sure to be much higher.

The Olympic Committee and its advisors urge Games revelers to pack earplugs, which can protect your hearing by keeping loud noises out without shutting out other ambient noises.

“Action on Hearing Loss Audiologist Gemma Twitchen said: “With crowds going wild for Team GB, noise has been recorded at levels in excess of 100db, which is much louder than a jet engine taking off, in fact, it’s 10,000,000,000 times louder than the smallest sound your ears can hear!“A night in a noisy crowd could cause temporary tinnitus – ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing in your head or ears – or permanent hearing damage. This is not something you’d want to take home as an everlasting memory from the Games.

You wouldn’t think twice about standing close to a jet engine without hearing protection, so we’re urging people going to the closing ceremony or any of the events in the Olympics and Paralympics to take the very simple step of using earplugs.”

 


Athletes suffering from Hearing Loss

Amongst all these festivities and test of personal willpower and strength we always want to remember some of the challenges athletes have overcome and endured significant hearing loss challenges in the previous Olympics.

Adam Rippon, Figure Skating

Before his successful career as a figure skater, Adam Rippon had to overcome several health issues in his early years. He was born with an eye infection and 80 percent hearing loss, and he also suffered from a severe respiratory condition and burst appendix. Fortunately, surgery was able to restore most of his hearing, and he recovered from the other illnesses. Adam will be in competing in PyeongChang as one of three men on the U.S. figure skating team.

Amy Purdy, Snowboarding

About of bacterial meningitis at age 19 resulted in Amy Purdy’s legs being amputated below the knees and the removal of her kidneys and spleen. The disease also led to hearing loss. Despite these challenges, Amy has pursued her passions, including dancing, modeling, and snowboarding, for which she designed her own prosthetic leg. She won a bronze in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and will be competing once again in the 2018 event.

Elena Yakovishina, Downhill Skiing

Another athlete born with hearing loss, Elena Yakovishina is a downhill skier from Russia who hasn’t let her disability keep her off the slopes. She wears hearing aids while she competes, which she says improve her balance and help her perform better by hearing the wind and the skis. Hearing aids also helped Elena hear the cheers of her home crowd when she competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Carlo Orlandi (Italy, Boxing)

Orlandi is said to be the first deaf athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. The boxer was a gold medalist in the 1928 Olympic Games. In 1929 he turned professional, and in the 1930s he held both the Italian and European lightweight titles. He was born a deaf-mute.

Tamika Catchings (USA, Basketball)

The 24-year-old WNBA star was born with a hearing loss and incredible athleticism. She has completed 15 seasons in the WNBA, and she has earned WBNA Finals MVP honors as well as the Reynolds Society Achievement Award. The world-famous Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston give this award annually to an individual who has overcome hearing, vision, or voice loss and who have distinguished themselves and provided inspiration to others.

Jeff Float (USA, Swimming)

Float was the first person to win the gold medals in both the Deaf World Games and the Olympic Games. In 1977 he won 10 gold medals at the 13th World Games for the Deaf in Romania. In 1984 he became an Olympic champion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And he was the first deaf Olympian to openly display the universal ILY (I love you) sign on the pedestal during his medal ceremony at the Olympic Games.The first deaf swimmer to win a gold medal, Float recalls to Sports Illustrated the moment that changed his life: “It was the first time I remember hearing distinctive cheers at a meet. I’ll never forget what 17,000 screaming people sound like. It was incredible.” At 13 months old, Float contracted viral meningitis and consequently lost his hearing. He’s 90 percent deaf in his right ear and 65 percent in his left. He now wears digital hearing aids.He learned to read lips, but he was teased by the other kids at school because of a lisp. He tells SI, “Kids would boost their self-esteem by putting me down. Swimming gave me the self-confidence I couldn’t find anywhere else. Besides, my name isn’t ‘Field’ or ‘Court.’ It’s ‘Float’ — I had to swim.”


SOURCES

Edmonton Motorcycle Show

January 12, 2018

Get Your Fix @ The Edmonton Motorcycle Show

When the snow starts flying, where can you go to get your fix of two-wheel, three-wheel and four-wheel action!

THE 2018 EDMONTON MOTORCYCLE SHOW – the ultimate get-together for riders and future riders.

See all the NEW 2018 motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides, all under one roof.  Meet tons of experts, check out the latest gear and apparel, and get all-revved up for your next adventure!

Edmonton-MotorCycle

Whether you’re a hardcore rider or a recreational enthusiast, a curious fan or just tired of the cold winter weather, The 2018 Edmonton Motorcycle Show has got you covered!

Come See Custom Protect Ear and get fitted for dB Blockers today!

 

 

 

Plant Expo 2017

October 11, 2017

PLANT Expo Kitchener is today! 

We look forward to seeing you on October 11, 2017 at Bingeman’s for this one of a kind networking opportunity. Come see CPE at the Show and get Fitted for your dB Blockers today.

Plant Expo Kitchener

 

YOU ARE INVITED!
Please join us at 9:00am-10:00am for coffee as we open the show with Opening remarks from Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and our Morning Keynote Speaker, Matt Rendall, CEO, from OTTO Motors.

 

Afternoon Keynote Speakers James Weir, Vice President of Sales from SYSPRO Canada and Kate Bagshaw, Senior Electricity Advisor, Bruce Power Direct will be speaking at noon. Lunch will be provided for those attending.

**Please note it will be a first come, first serve for the Keynote sessions. Please be sure to be on time for these sessions. **

 

PLAN YOUR DAY
To help you plan your day, we have provided the information below to outline some of the details you will need to know for the event.  Please take a few moments to review the following information carefully. 

**Watch for the Plant/DEX Expo signs directing you into the show!**

Schedule at a Glance:   

Wednesday October 11, 2017

8:00 am

 

Registration Opens
9:00 am Morning Keynote Speakers:

Opening remarks from Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and our Morning Keynote Speakers, Matt Rendall, CEO, from OTTO Motors.

Coffee and light refreshments will be available.

 

10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tradeshow Hours

 

12:00 noon Afternoon Keynote Speakers:

James Weir, Vice President of Sales from SYSPRO Canada and Kate Bagshaw, Senior Electricity Advisor, Bruce Power Direct will be speaking at noon. Lunch will be provided for those attending.

On-Site prize draw:

Helly Hansen Workwear

 

3:45pm On-site prize draw:

 

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition

 

4:00 pm Show closes

 

Location:

Bingemans

425 Bingemans Centre Drive

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

N2B 3X7

Tradeshow Room: Marchall Hall

Keynote Room: Heritage Room

Parking: There is ample FREE parking. 

See you at the show!

Wearing & Caring for your dB Blockers™

September 12, 2017

Wearing & Caring for your dB Blockers ™

So the wait is finally over. After being fitted for your new hearing protection – they have finally arrived! However, there are a few important things we wanted to remind you of.  Your dB Blockers will do most of the work when it comes to protecting your ears from noise, but you will also need to care for them as well.

Break-In Period

Please note that there is a “break in” period for each custom earpiece. The first 10 times you wear them, apply a light coating of lubrication prior to inserting.

The dB Blocker™ Hearing Protector should only be worn for 2 hours the first day. This time may be increased by two hours each day for the following week. It is important to lubricate the earpiece with CPE lubricant for the first 10 times they are worn or after washing.

dB Blockers

Step-By-Step Instructions

Follow the step-by-step diagrams for a comfortable, secure fit. You may need to alternate between your new custom dB Blockers earpiece and your old ear plugs during this limited period until the fit is comfortable. During this time you are still receiving optimum noise protection

custom fit earplugs

Ears Change

You must refit your dB Blockers™ custom earpiece every five years or if your weight changes 10 pounds or Industrial Hearing lossmore.

DUE TO PRESSURE CHANGES DO NOT USE NON-VENTED dB Blockers™ WHEN FLYING OR SCUBA DIVING. We have models for this and since we have your fitting. Contact us to order.

For Removal

Gently break the seal by removing the helix (B) and rotating forward.
CAUTION: DO NOT PULL ON CORD TO REMOVE BLOCKERS  

Personalized Hearing Protection for the Pulp and Paper Industry

July 25, 2017

Personalized Hearing Protection for the Pulp and Paper Industry

Working in the pulp and paper industry, workers are frequently reminded to wear hearing protection and safety glasses. Most manufacturing areas mandate their use, and failure to comply with these rules frequently brings stern warnings or reprimands. Fortunately, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for sight and sound has almost become second nature to most Paper and Pulp plants. However, there are still some plants that have not found a way to enhance a safe workplace by implementing a hearing conservation program. Specializing in personalized hearing protective, ProtectEar USA has helped many manufacturing companies overcome their performance limitations and safety concerns. We start by assessing the noise levels and working conditions each person faces. then we determine the best protectors for the individual and make appropriate recommendations for optimal productivity, protection, and comfort.

Workers Can Protect Their Hearing with Custom Ear Plugs

Do not wait to experience any of these symptoms before you protect your ears with hearing protection. ProtectEar dB Blockers™ custom fit earplugs are more comfortable and offer superior hearing protection to any disposable earplug. However, did you know that they are more cost effective as well?

You can reduce your hearing protection costs by 60% over five years when an entire facility is fit. dB Blockers™ are more comfortable because there is only one way for them to fit and they made for each individual. They also make it easy for workers to communicate with each other because of our proprietary tuned filter that allows users to hear better with the plugs in than if they take them out.

As a Hearing Protection Manufacturer, it is great to see specific sectors like Pulp & Paper Canada take a stock in Noise Induced Hearing Loss. 

Pulp & Paper

Four steps for reducing workplace noise

 By WSPS

The most obvious impact is noise-induced hearing loss but stress, hypertension, poor sleep and mental health, and physical injury due to communications challenges can all be linked to noise exposure.One in five adults aged 19 to 79 already have mild hearing loss or more in at least one ear. Chances are, with time and continued exposure their hearing will worsen. Statistics like these have prompted the Ontario Ministry of Labour to launch an occupational noise initiative. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 inspectors will be looking at how — and how well — employers are protecting workers from noise.

A noise regulation (381/15) passed in July 2016 says employers must follow a “hierarchy of controls” to protect workers. Under this hierarchy, engineering controls and work practices come before personal protective equipment (PPE), such as earplugs and ear muffs. Engineering solutions are the better option because they control noise everywhere eliminating the reliance on workers to wear protection.

Pulp & Paper

Create your own noise prevention plan with these four steps.

  1. Determine if your workers are exposed to high levels of noise. Be sure to pinpoint the sources of noise and who’s going to be affected where.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment. You can do a rudimentary assessment just by walking around and listening. If you’re looking for preliminary numbers, rent a sound level meter. There are also apps available that can be used as screening tools. Smartphone apps must be used cautiously however and shouldn’t be relied on for complete accuracy. If an app provides a number that hovers around 85dB (the current occupational limit more than eight hours), call in an occupational hygienist to do a proper survey.
  3. Determine the best way to protect employees:• Start with engineering controls. Can you reduce noise at the source or along the path of transmission? Before implementing a control (such as enclosing a machine), check with an expert to ensure you’re not introducing new hazards.• Look at work practices. Could repairs make machines less noisy? Could you adjust schedules to reduce workers’ exposure time or duration, or increase distance from the source?• Consider PPE if other controls are not possible. Select PPE carefully though. Talk to employees about what kind of protection they’d prefer and which is most comfortable. Ensure that workers are trained on care and use, including proper fit, limitations, inspection and maintenance, and most importantly hygiene. Dirty ear plugs can lead to other health issues.

    4. Ensure your controls are working. Implement a surveillance program that includes audiometric testing to make sure people are using hearing protection correctly and not suffering hearing loss.

Hearing Loss Prevention Beyond the Workplace

July 10, 2017
Industrial Hearing loss

As a Hearing Protection Manufacturer, we as a company are always speaking about Hearing Loss Prevention in the workplace. However, there are also Best Practices for developing a culture of hearing conservation, both at work and at home.

Since OSHA had implemented detailed noise exposure regulations (29 CFR 1910.95), employers and safety professionals have monitored noise levels, posted warning signs, purchased earplugs and routinely tested employees’ hearing. Other activities consisted of training programs for new employees, putting up posters and selected groups to be a part of the product buying process.

Although these activities are conducted to prevent hearing loss, workers are still continuing to suffer noise-induced hearing loss at alarming rates. The cost of noise-induced hearing loss in the United States is now measured in billions (not millions) of dollars annually.

Hearing Loss Prevention plan

Setting up the actual Hearing Loss Prevention plan is easy; the difficult task is getting workers to buy in and engage in the program. In addition, loud noises are not just limited to the workplace. Noise-induced hearing loss can be just as prevalent off the job as on the job, and exposure outside the workplace is often a lot less noticeable.

Build Buy-in on the Hearing Loss Prevention Plan – Educate & Engage beyond the workplace

Beyond employee adherence to safety rules, there are ways to utilize other controls for reducing noise exposure that will impact the worker on and off the job.

Additionally, OSHA offers a list of administrative controls that managers can use to minimize the risk:

  • Operating noisy machines during shifts with the fewest employees exposed
  • Limiting the number of time employees can work near a noise source
  • Providing quiet areas for employees to get a break from the noise
  • Restricting worker presence to a suitable distance away from a noise source
  • Establishing a hearing conservation program (required at sites exceeding the PEL)
  • Hold informative workshops on the importance of Hearing Loss Prevention on and off the job.

Some of these suggestions may be more feasible at your work site than others, so take advantage of those that you can logistically implement. Encourage employee participation in this process as well, because they tend to have the greatest exposure to noise, and thus may have insights for improving hearing protection. Many incidents of hearing loss from occupational noise exposure are preventable, and because completely eliminating the noise at work is often not an option, companies must take every measure possible to minimize its effects.

To learn how a Proper Safety plan is executed please check out our previous post: A Proper Executed Safety Program


Sources

http://www.selectinternational