How much is a Noisy Workplace actually costing you?

April 25, 2017

Good communication is vital to running a safe and efficient worksite or workplace. But, how do you achieve that amid the noise and multifaceted demands of the average noisy workplace?

Construction sites, Manufacturing Plants, Food Assembly Lines and Shop Floors are typically characterized by loud equipment in constant motion and limited visibility. In this environment, a missed warning or misunderstood instruction can have costly—or even tragic—consequences.

Car Plant
Example: Workers wearing no hearing protection in a Chrysler car plant.

Cost of Noise

How do you know if your workplace is loud enough to require hearing protection. If you meet 2 out of 6 criteria below, then your company needs to re-evaluate their Hearing Conservation Plan.

  1. Your productivity is being seriously impacted.
  2. Your cost of goods are rising from mistakes.
  3. You’re spending at least $310/year for every employee in your hearing conservation program.
  4. Your Risk Management costs are rising
  5. Hearing protection alone is costing you $150/person/year
  6. Supervisors spending an extra 30 minutes a day trying to communicate in noise – @ $30.00/hour

If this is applicable to you, then most likely your incurring a extra cost of  $4,000/year. You do the Math!


What is the Cost of Noise

Industrial Hearing loss

All of this is the Cost of Noise. The Cost of Noise is hearing loss, productivity and risk management. 

The cost of noise saps productivity and adds expense to companies.  Reduce or control the cost of noise and profits will flow straight to the bottom line.  It is a competitive advantage and many companies have recognized it. If you and your company want to do something about the cost of noise, ask us about about dB Blockers.

What are dB Blockers™

dB Blockers and they’re the SMARTEST HEARING PROTECTION In the World.  Why smart? Inside each dB Blocker there is a little green filter, which filters out industrial noise and enhances speech. And it is also really a  communication device. You wear these to protect your hearing and they’ll let you hear people talking to you.

Thanks to recent advancements in technology through SMART (custom) hearing devices, and wireless communication headsets, the costs of communication, productivity and safety has decreased significantly.

 The benefits of dB Blockers™ 

  • clear and continuous communication during the performance of shared tasks
  • improved teamwork and increased mobilitydB-blocker-
  • the ability to provide verbal warnings in real time
  • fewer accidents and lower insurance costs
  • the ability for construction crews to get more done in less time

By adopting dB Blocker™ hearing devices an integral component of worksite communication, companies will not only enjoy a safer work environment, but also develop a more cohesive and productive crew.

dB Blocker™ Classic Intercanal (Vented). Learn More.
dB Blocker™ Classic Intercanal (Vented). Learn More.

 

Hearing Self-Test by Wayne Staab

April 19, 2017

Legalized OTC (over-the-counter) hearing aids are expected as a hearing-impaired consumer option. One of the arguments against this practice is that the potential purchaser has not had an audiogram from which to determine the type and degree of hearing levels to assist in the selection of the appropriate hearing aid, if such is to be recommended. However, serious discussion exists relative to the real value of a pure-tone audiogram for such selection, perhaps for the majority of individuals, especially based on the way pure-tone testing is currently conducted.  What then, might be the role of a hearing self-test?


Predicting Hearing Level Without an Audiogram?

Aside from having an audiogram made, is it possible to somewhat “predict” an individual’s hearing levels? One skilled in the art can most likely draw a reasonable facsimile of a person’s audiogram just by conversing with them. Advertisements by both traditional and audiologist hearing aid dispensers have used paper and pencil questionnaires for years to “estimate” hearing levels in promotional materials to encourage consumers to utilize their services for more in-depth evaluation. Learn More.

 

Self-Test of Hearing – Paper and Pencil

A number of years ago this author designed a paper and pencil self-test of hearing. The test, in the form of a short questionnaire, was designed to allow a consumer to evaluate his/her ability to hear in different circumstances, and that their answers would help them better appreciate and understand their hearing status. They could make their own decision as to whether they wanted to follow through more specifically on the results of the test with whatever hearing testing facility they wanted. What the test was intended to do was to inform them about what they could expect of their hearing, based on their responses.  Because the person knew that their answers were personal, and that no one else would see them, they were likely to answer the questions more honestly than those questionnaires that request their personal information in order to get the results.  The intent of the self-test is to provide a rapid, but reasonably accurate understanding of the person’s hearing status.

Figures 2 provides the questionnaire and Figure 3 provides the scoring information.  The degree of loss as identified from the scoring chart, is explained in the text following the two figures.

 

Young construction workers less likely to protect hearing says WorkSafeBC

March 13, 2017

Young construction workers less likely to protect hearing says WorkSafeBC

by THE CANADIAN PRESS

RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – The organization that regulates health and safety in British Columbia workplaces reports almost one in four young construction workers is not doing enough to protect against hearing loss.

New data from WorkSafeBC shows 24 per cent of construction workers aged 21 or under don’t wear hearing protection.

That compares with 13 per cent of construction workers who don’t use hearing protection over the age of 50 and 11 per cent in all other age groups in the industry.

WorkSafe says young workers in construction are also less likely to wear hearing protection than young employees in other industries, such as manufacturing and primary resources.

The data was collected last year from more than 160,000 hearing tests conducted by BC employers as part of hearing loss prevention programs required by WorkSafeBC.

Occupational audiologist Sasha Brown says noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a single loud noise or by repeated exposure to consistent noise, and it must be taken very seriously.

Read Article. 

How much do you love your hearing and why you should.

February 14, 2017

How much do you love your hearing and why you should.

Of all the five senses it seem that hearing is the most ignored and the most taken for granted. Our generation (Boomers, X&Y) have not done a very good job at preventing hearing loss until its too late.

Whether your 17 or 55 years old, we have all done some sort of damage to our hearing…. 

Some of us have worked in loud noisy places and haven’t really considered protecting our ears except with the odd foam earplug, which are only good for one shift. Or we have worked in an environment where the noise was gradual but still loud and did nothing to protect our hearing since it wasn’t top of mind.

Or how about everyday uses to protect your hearing from noise pollution. Over the past 10 years we all have been embracing iTunes, iPods, Podcasts, SmartPhones, Audiobooks etc. But have we really considered the extra strain all of these technological advances have impacted our ears? Well if you LOVE YOUR HEARING, then I suggest you start.  Remember we live with our hearing and we should love our hearing as it one of the 5 senses that allows to hear the wonderful things in life; things to consider next time you crank up that new hit song, or put in disposable instead of personal hearing protection.

Love your hearing

From all of us at ProtectEar USA – HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!


Basic Facts About Hearing Loss

  • About 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss.
  • At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss.
  • 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings.
  • While people in the workplace with the mildest hearing losses show little or no drop in income compared to their normal hearing peers, as the hearing loss increases, so does the reduction in compensation.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears.
  • Almost 15% of school-age children (ages 6-19) have some degree of hearing loss.

SOURCE: http://www.hearingloss.org/content/basic-facts-about-hearing-loss

Hearing Loss in the Construction Industry

January 28, 2017

DID YOU KNOW…

Construction No. 2 industry for hearing loss…

A study spanning a decade and incorporating hearing tests of more than 1.4 million American workers found that construction accounted for the second-highest prevalence of workers with a hearing impairment.(1) Every year, thousands of construction workers suffer hearing loss from excessive noise exposure on the job. Hearing loss impairs quality of life and increases the risk of injury – for instance, when a worker cannot hear approaching vehicles or warning signals.

Noise Exposure = Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) usually results from extended exposure to sound levels at or above 85 dBA.  NIOSH suggests the maximum exposure for an 8 hour period without requiring hearing protection is 85 dBA.

Although NIHL is a well-known risk in construction, government data among construction workers are limited. Since employers have no obligation to test workers’ hearing (audiometric testing) in construction, even if employees experience noise levels at or above OSHA’s PEL[1], for hearing loss in construction is rarely recognized as an occupational disease. It is not surprising, therefore, that the numbers reported to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a very low rate of hearing loss, and for this reason hearing loss data for construction are not comparable with data for general industry.

 

hearing loss hearing loss

Conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the “Hearing Impairment Among Noise-Exposed Workers” study estimated the prevalence of hearing loss at six levels using hearing tests performed between 2003 and 2012. The study expressed the impact of hearing loss on quality of life as annual disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

The mining sector had the highest prevalence of workers with hearing impairment, followed by the construction and manufacturing sectors. 17% of mining workers whose hearing tests were included had one of the six levels of impairment, while 3% had moderate or worse impairment. Construction was next with 16 % of workers testing positive for any impairment and, like mining, 3 % with moderate or worse. (3)

Manufacturing rounds out the top 3 with 14 % and 2%, respectively.

The CDC estimates that mining and construction workers lost 3.45 and 3.09 healthy years per 1,000 workers, respectively, due to their occupation. This statistic is actually quite shocking; imagine losing 3 years of your life.

The CDC notes, “Current noise regulations do not require audiometric testing for construction workers. Without testing to identify workers losing their hearing, intervention might be delayed or might not occur.” Because of that, the CDC stresses the importance of proper hearing loss prevention through earplugs and other methods of protection on construction sites.

With approximately 22 million U.S. workers exposed to hazardous occupational noise, hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S. and is the most common work related illness among American workers.  Being the third most common chronic condition, one would think that standards to prevent hearing loss would be stricter.


 Facts and Statistics… DID YOU KNOW!

  • Four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss. Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year.
  • In 2007, approximately 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment.
    Reported cases of hearing loss accounted for 14% of occupational illness in 2007.
  • In 2007, approximately 82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector.
  • There are an estimated 16 million people working in the Manufacturing Sector, which accounts for approximately 13% of the U.S. workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing (17,700 cases out of 59,100 cases), accounting for 1 in 9 recordable illnesses. More than 72% of these occur among workers in Manufacturing. These numbers are particularly disturbing considering that a person’s hearing loss must be determined to be work-related and the hearing loss must be severe enough that the worker has become hearing impaired, in order to be OSHA-recordable. Many more workers would have measurable occupational hearing loss but would not yet have become hearing impaired.

This blog is based on a research paper by:

Masterson EA, Bushnell PT, Themann CL, Morata TC. Hearing Impairment Among Noise-Exposed Workers — United States, 2003–2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:389–394. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6515a2 (http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6515a2

[1] http://www.cpwr.com/sites/default/files/publications/CB%20page%2049.pdf
[2] Permitted Exposure Limit
[3] http://www.cpwr.com/sites/default/files/publications/CB%20page%2049.pdf

2017 is not just another year, it’s the year of Hearing Loss Prevention.

January 25, 2017

2017 is not just another year, it’s the year of Hearing Loss Prevention.

Make the most of your hearing health in 2017

New hearing technologies and increased awareness of hearing loss points to 2017 as being the “Year of the Ear.” If you haven’t already made your New Year’s resolutions, consider what you can do to protect your hearing and be more hearing health conscious. We’ve compiled a list of a few things that you might want to consider for the new year.

Hearing Health & Loss Prevention

Hearing loss prevention is an action where you take special precautions to ensure your hearing is not being negatively affected. Sometimes the loss itself can be difficult to identify, which is why it’s so important to be on top of changes that may occur to your hearing.

Your hearing health has a direct effect on your overall health. Hearing loss has been linked to numerous medical issues, including viruses, bacteria, heart conditions or strokes, head injuries, tumors and certain medicines.

  • Heart health: Studies show that a healthy cardiovascular system – a person’s heart, arteries and veins – has a positive effect on hearing. Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.
  • Hypertension: There is a significant association between high blood pressure and untreated hearing loss. Hypertension can be an accelerating factor of hearing loss in older adults.
  • Smoking: Current smokers have a 70 percent higher risk of having hearing loss than non-smokers.
  • Obesity: Higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference are associated with increased risk of hearing loss in women.
  • Diabetes: Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without. Adults whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, have a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar.
  • Ototoxicity: There are more than 200 medications (prescription and over-the-counter) on the market today that are known to be ototoxic or “poisonous to the ears.” Some known ototoxic drugs are: Aspirin, Quinine, Loop diuretics (or “water pills”), certain antibiotics, and some environmental chemicals.

Make sure you are making an annual hearing test part of your hearing health routine. Many hearing clinics provide free testing. If you haven’t already, schedule your next evaluation for the new year today.

Protect Your Ears

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is increasingly becoming a problem, especially for people aged 12 to 35. With the growing popularity of personal listening devices, taking steps to protect your hearing has never been more important. Take steps to ensure that you are listening at an appropriate volume, and use earplugs in heavily noise-polluted environments such as sports venues, hunting, shooting, concerts, or other events and activities that are loud. As little as 10 seconds at a loud stadium or concert can cause permanent hearing damage. Learn More about Hearing Protection.

Take Steps to Treat Hearing Loss

A shockingly large number of people that could benefit from using hearing device don’t use one. Hearing aid technology has improved significantly in recent years, and it’s worth exploring what kind of solutions there are that could make your life easier. You might be surprised by what a hearing aid device can do to improve your quality of life. If you’re suffering from hearing loss and haven’t considered treating it, now is the time!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Every person’s hearing is unique, almost like a fingerprint. When it comes to issues like hearing loss, tinnitus, hearing technology etc. don’t be afraid to ask a professional for advice. Your audiologist can help you make informed decisions about your hearing health and start on a path toward better living.

With the New Year here and moving with a vengeance, it is important to be proactive especially where your health is concerned. Whether it is your hearing, or a colleagues hearing, please educate and pass this message on.

Let’s prevent Hearing Loss, one ear at a time.dB Life Sleeper

 

Canada: Large disparities between measured and self-reported hearing loss

January 20, 2017

One in five Canadians aged 20 to 79 was found to have a hearing loss in at least one ear when tested audiometrically. Among those aged 70 to 79 the figure was 65%. Overall less than 4% reported themselves to have a hearing loss.

Canada: Large disparities between measured and self-reported hearing loss

Almost one in five Canadians aged 20 to 79, an estimated 4.6 million adults, was found to have a hearing loss in at least one ear when tested audiometrically. Among those aged 70 to 79 the figure was 65%.  Fewer than 4% of the adults reported having a hearing loss themselves. This is the result of a Canadian study published in Health Reports, which shows large disparities between self-reported and measured prevalence of hearing loss.

Mild hearing loss is rarely self-reported

12% of the Canadian adults were found to have a mild hearing loss. These people would be less likely to be aware of or self-report their hearing difficulty and would cope by using adaptive measures such as moving closer to the source of the sound or increasing the volume. For 7% of adults, hearing loss was moderate or severe.

In Canada, the prevalence of hearing loss has typically been estimated through self-reports. However, self-reports may result in underestimates, especially among older adults and among people with mild hearing loss or high-frequency hearing loss.

10.4 million with hearing loss by 2036

According to the study, the number affected is likely to rise substantially in coming decades and is projected to double from 5 million in 2011 to 10.4 million by 2036.

Despite the fact that the study results show a significant number of hearing impaired Canadians, the prevalence of hearing loss may still be underestimated. The study used both collected audiometric and self-reported data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey which only includes data of the population aged 20-79. People aged 80 or older is not included in the data and hearing loss is known to be more common with age.

Read the study

Source:www.statcan.gc.ca

Hearing Loss on a Farm?

August 15, 2016

When we think of farming we think of peaceful fields, softly lowing animals, the whisper of wind in your ears. The reality though can be just the opposite and hearing loss on a farm can be a devastating side effect of a “not so peaceful” industry.

farm

Damaging effects of noise induced hearing loss

Have you considered the damaging effect of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) that can be caused by exposure to high levels of noise that farmers and agricultural workers may be exposed to?

 

 

 

What about noise such as:

  • Squealing pigs – at a sound level of 100dB. More than 15 minutes of exposure to squealing pigs without hearing protection can start to produce noise induced hearing loss damage.
  • Driving in a tractor or no cab combine at a sound level of 105dB for more than 4 minutes without hearing protection is considered to be a time frame that could produce hearing loss.

Even common equipment used on large properties such as a ride-on lawnmower producing 102dB of sound for more than 9 minutes can cause damage with no hearing protection or a leaf blower at 110dB for more than 1.4 minutes can be the cause of hearing loss damage.

Proper Hearing Protection

Ensuring that you or your workers have proper hearing protection is vital in the prevention of NIHL for farmers and agricultural workers. You may be protected within a well sound proofed cab of a combine machine but what if you open that cab door for more than 4 minutes? Make sure you are protected with the proper hearing protection device for your noise exposure.

You may be wear hearing protection while mowing your lawn but what about your children or young family members who may be outside and exposed to that same sound level? Are you ensuring their hearing protection?

You may find a comfortable pair of ear muffs that block out noise best suited for you. Maybe you also need to be able to hear certain sounds and some noise-cancelling headsets that allow you to still hear non-damaging sounds might be more appropriate for your needs.

4 Steps to protecting your hearing.

 First things first!

  1. The first step to protecting your hearing and the hearing of your workers and family members is to be aware of how quickly damage can take place when you are exposed to dangerously loud noises. Teach your workers and family members the importance of wearing hearing protection devices when they know they will be in an area of exposure.
  2. Second, have your workers, family and yourself screened for hearing loss so that you can assess hearing loss damage that may already have occurred.
    dB Blockers
  3. Investigate which hearing protection devices (HPDs) are best suited for your needs.
  4. USE THEM! Hearing protection devices will only provide protection when used properly and for the appropriate level of exposure.

Now back to that peaceful, easy feeling…on the family farm.

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) funds a home for a Cambodian family through the World Housing Initiative

July 11, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) funds a home for a Cambodian family through the World Housing InitiativeWorld Housing

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada July 11th, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) reaches out to a struggling family in Phnom-Penh to provide a home for the family of six to live in. Through the humanitarian organization of World Housing with their mission of “A home for everyone”, CPE Chairman, Jeffrey Goldberg and President Howard Raphael at CPE contributed $5,000.00 to build the home that now provides security and stability for Sam and his family.

Sam, his wife and 4 children moved from their village to Phnom-Penh so the children could have access to education. Selling coconuts and then cane juice to earn a living did not provide enough income for a home. Unable to pay rent they slept at the Pagoda. Now with a place for their children to sleep protected from mosquitoes and a place for them to study, Sam’s dreams for a better life for his family are beginning to unfold.

Read More about World Housing 

About World Housing:

World Housing helps provide homes for families living in slums around the world. In the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia in just 2 short years more than 360 homes housing more than 1800 people have been built for families in need. With help from Private and Corporate funding like CPE, World Housing is able to provide homes for these impoverished families.

 

CPE through their dB Cares Foundation helps causes and charities.

World Housing
Graham Brewster and Alex Holme of World Housing presents a “Thank You” plaque to Howard Raphael and Jeffrey Goldberg of Custom Protect Ear (CPE) while wearing scarves that were made in Cambodia by people in the community of the housing project.

CPE gets involved in Fort McMurray Wildfires!

July 5, 2016

Custom Protect Ear (CPE) contributes to $18,000 worth of donations to Fort McMurray Wild Fire Destruction

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, July 5, 2016

Custom Protect Ear is proud to contribute to $18,000 worth of funds to the Fort McMurray Wildfire Destruction in Alberta. Raging fires wreaked havoc on the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta in the month of May, 2016. Starting May 1st the fire was estimated to cover 589,995 hectares after raging through Northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings.

CPE, being a North American Based company was affected by this disaster as the fire impacted their clients and employees. As a result, CPE through the dB Cares™ initiative stepped up to support the community of Fort McMurray with contributions that totalled $18,000.  dB Cares™ is a Custom Protect Ear (CPE) initiative created to address the impact our doing business has on the environment and to help support the people and community where we live and work.

CPE Chairman, Jeff Goldberg and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Howard Raphael initiated the support through the combined efforts of the following:

  • CPE employees contributed a total of $3,000.00
  • CPE Chairman Jeff and CEO Howard matched that contribution to raise it to $6,000.00
  • CPE Donated this $6,000.00 to the Canadian Red Cross who matched the funds, bringing the total to $12,000
  • And the Canadian Government also matched the funds to bring the total to $18,000

Cause related initiatives are important to CPE’s culture, and we are committed to assist where we can”, states Howard Raphael, CEO of Custom Protect Ear.

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire

The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, also known as the Horse River Fire, is a large wildfire burning in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

On May 1, 2016, the wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta. On May 3, it swept through the community, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history.  It continued to spread across northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan, consuming forested areas and impacting Athabasca oil sands operations until mid-June when rain helped firefighters to hold the fire. It may become the costliest disaster in Canadian history.

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About Custom Protect Ear

Over three decades, Custom Protect Ear (CPE) has grown to be North America’s largest personalized industrial hearing protector manufacturer. CPE is the leader in providing effective, verifiable, and noise level matched hearing protection at a cost lower than alternative options. CPE devotes all of its research and expertise to the innovation of better hearing protection and has made significant technological advances. CPE serves over 4,500 companies and businesses around the globe; its certified mobile technicians do custom on-site fittings at their industrial sites. Custom Protect Ear has a registered ISO 9001: 2008 quality management system in place, which ensures CPE delivers the finest and most effective hearing protection available on the market.

For further information, please contact:

Laura Bennett
Custom Protect Ear
Phone: 604-635-3250 | 1800-520-0220 ext. 322
Email: lbennett@protectear.com