Advanced Hearing Support The Dangerous Decibels Project

December 4, 2013

The Dangerous Decibels Project

Advanced Hearing Support The Dangerous Decibels Project

Advanced Hearing supports various groups that advocate hearing safety. One of these is the Dangerous Decibels Project. This public health campaign is designed to reduce the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in school-age children.

 

December 4, 2013) Virginia Beach, Virginia — The Dangerous Decibels Project was organized to bring attention to the problem of noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL as well as tinnitus in school-aged children.  The program aims to change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of these children to help them protect their hearing.  Advanced Hearing is dedicated not only to providing hearing aids for children but also to preventing hearing loss through education and changed behaviors.

According to the Dangerous Decibels Project website located at www.dangerousdecibels.org, hearing damage can occur at decibel levels over 85 and beyond eight hours per day.  School children are often exposed to East Inflatable Rentals far more than this in an average school day.  Dangerous Decibels advocates for companies to provide low cost hearing aids for children but also gives tips to avoid hearing loss altogether, including “Turn It Down,” “Walk Away” and “Protect Your Ears.”

Advanced Hearing provides discount hearing aids for both adults and children who have already suffered hearing loss.  In order to find the best hearing aid for an individual, Advanced Hearing offers hearing aid comparisons of behind the ear hearing aid models, digital and in-ear hearing aids and other brands.  Unlike companies that sell hearing aids online, Advanced Hearing is ready to compare hearing aids and give clients all the facts about every model.

Those who are interested in the facts about hearing loss and the work done by Dangerous Decibels can read more about it on the Advanced Hearing website at www.advancedhearing.us/hearing-education/educational-articles.  For an in-office hearing aid comparison and free test, clients can make an appointment with Advanced Hearing for their consultation.  Other products are also available on the website at www.advancedhearing.us/products/hearing-aids.

About Advanced Hearing

Advanced Hearing provides hearing aid services for clients of all ages.  With an advanced hearing aid center that provides free hearing aids comparisons for behind the ear hearing aids, digital hearing aids and other models, Advanced Hearing gives clients the information to make the right choice about their hearing assistance options.  Those who have suffered hearing loss, are having trouble making out words or who simply want to test their hearing and see how a hearing aid could help them are welcome to contact Advanced Hearing for a free consultation.

For More Information:  www.advancedhearing.us

New! FitCheckSolo™

October 17, 2013

ProtectEar takes the guesswork out of matching the right hearing protection with noise exposure.

October 21, 2013, Surrey BC. Canada. Custom Protect Ear Inc. (CPE) introduces a NEW product to Hearing Conservation called FitCheck Solo™. Developed by NIOSH/Dr. K. Michael and distributed by Custom Protect Ear Inc. CPE (Canada) and ProtectEar USA (United States), FitCheck Solo™.  is fast, accurate and simple.

Ease-of-use and being able to test someone with any earplug in place the way they fit them that day is what makes FitCheck Solo™ “The Smartest Fit Testing System In The World”. FitCheck Solo™ helps take the guesswork out of matching the correct hearing protection with known noise exposure.

You have tools that can measure the noise hazard, and can even measure the exposure to the noise hazard. The missing piece is knowing what attenuation online slots you are giving them   to deal with this exposure. FitCheck Solo™ can accurately measure this, for any earplug. As a training vehicle, it is the only system that can test a person’s attenuation the way they fit the plug that day. Simply pull the wearer out of the noise environment and test them with their earplugs still in place AND THEN with the plug removed. This is A GREAT way to show and teach people how to fit the plug themselves.  Another reason why FitCheck Solo™ is “The Smartest Fit Testing System In The World”.

 “The mission of Custom Protect Ear is the elimination of NIHL* for those we serve. The missing piece was always knowing the attenuation. We know the noise level, we know the exposure and we guess at the attenuation. Guessing is a thing of the past. No NRR, no de-rating, just the actual personal attenuation the wearer gets, finally!” ~ (Jeffrey Goldberg, President | Custom Protect Ear Inc.)

FitCheck Solo™ can be used by Safety Managers, Industrial Hygienists, Facility Managers, and Health &Safety Managers to measure any earplug from any source without additional devices – just a laptop, headphones and the actual earplugs they use.FitCheck Solo

To Learn more about FitCheck Solo™ please contact us today!

Custom Protect Ear
1-800-520-0220

National Safety Council Congress & Expo

September 23, 2013

 The 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Chicago

The NSC Congress & Expo is the world’s largest annual “must attend” event for safety, health and environmental professionals. For more than 100 years, professionals have turned to this event for industry-leading technology, education, networking opportunities and the tried and true products and services needed to stay at the forefront and remain competitive within the industry.The Congress is designed to build awareness of the tools available to you and your organization as you continue down the path to safety excellence.

The NSC Congress & Expo experience offers:

Educational Opportunities

  • Attendees don’t have to hunt through blogs for perspectives on trends and best practices – they can choose from a host of carefully selected opportunities led by verified safety experts. And because safety challenges come in all shapes and sizes, presenters make time for Q&A at the end.

Keynotes

  • Hear nationally recognized leaders and motivational s from both the public and private sectors speak about current and future issues affecting the industry.

Technical Sessions

  • Participate in more than 130 technical sessions, selected by a team that has hands-on knowledge of the latest industry trends providing the most comprehensive information needed to face today’s challenges.

Professional Development Seminars

  • Participate in more than 30 seminars providing in-depth, hands-on opportunities to focus on continued professional growth. Explore the Expo floor offering 190,000+ net square feet of more than 900 companies showcasing the latest innovative products and services. You’ll also find the New Product Showcase area, the Solution Center, OSHA’s Top 10 most cited safety violations and solutions from the International Safety Equipment Association.

Who attends and why?

The NSC Congress & Expo attracts decision makers, end users and distributors from a wide variety of industries including: manufacturing, construction, petrochemical and utilities. Coming from the United States, Canada and more than 60 other countries, these individuals range in experience from entry level to seasoned safety professionals representing companies such as Boeing, Schneider Electric, BP, Industrial Scientific, Kimberly Clark, URS, RockTenn Norcross, Fruit of the Loom and more.

Who exhibits?

Hundreds of industry-leading companies from around the world exhibit offering products and services in the following categories: general safety products, personal protective equipment, hazard controls and fall protection. Additionally, vendors specializing in facility maintenance and operation, environmental protection, ergonomics and risk management are in attendance to showcase their latest safety solutions.

Come See ProtectEar USA at BOOTH 534 September28th – October 4th, 2013

 

dB Cares™ about Breast Cancer

September 22, 2013

Together Change is Possible… db Cares

dB Cares™ is a Custom Protect Ear initiative created to address the impact our doing business has on the environment and to help support the people and communities where we live and work. CPE donates a portion of what we make to charity each year. One of our community initiatives is a program that partners with our customers to support breast cancer research. By matching the $5.00 added to the purchase of each pair of pink Blockers, CPE donates $10.00 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

dB Cares™ contribution to Breast Cancer Water Obstacle

This is a subject that is close to many of our hearts, and we are excited to report that through the diligent efforts of our reps and valued customers, through our dB Cares Program we have raised $18,519.00 in donations to breast cancer research. We presented this cheque to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in August 2013 (pictured below). 

db cares

dB Cares™ For The Community

dB Cares Breast Cancer

Your support of our products allows CPE to donate a portion of what we make to charity each year, and facilitate ways in which to raise additional money for causes that touch our stakeholders personally. Some of the ways we commit ourselves to the community are:

  • – Fund raising for community initiatives.See what we’re doing for Breast Cancer Research.
  • – Giving support to local food banks.
  • – Supporting community centers that offer programs for the economically disadvantaged.
  • – Encouraging our stakeholders to become more actively involved in their local communities.

 

Learn how you can be apart of dB Cares. 

Oil Sands Conference 2013

September 12, 2013

Oil Sands Conference 2013: Custom Protect Ear was there 

The rapidly changing face of the Canadian oil sands and its unprecedented growth in the past decade has resulted in extraordinary opportunities for Oil Sands 2013 commercial organizations across the supply chain. Additionally, with the low cost of Canadian oil compared to the rest of North America, it is vital that the transport and infrastructure challenge is met head on in order to enter new markets and attract new buyers .

Oil Sands Conference examined the critical issues such as stakeholder engagement sumo wrestling suits for sale
, implementing innovative technology to meet the environmental challenges and accessing new markets for bitumen in order to safeguard the economic development and energy resource availability within Canada.

Delegates attended this industry leading event to keep-up-to-date on the very latest developments, and to increase your business opportunities in the Canadian oil sands. This years conference circled around Current Research & Development for the Alberta Oil Sands Sector. The Oil Sands COnference was held September 10 – 11 in Fort McMurray BC. Click Here to learn more.

Upcoming Tradeshows in Canada

Custom Protect Ear will be in Montreal at the CSSE 2013 show.

All Canadian Society of Safety Engineering members will get 25 % discount for dB Blockers purchased and Fit at CSSE 2013. Come see us at Booth 85 & 86 at CSSE Montreal – September 15-18, 2013. Call to get your facility fit or find out more today! Call 1800-520-0220 ext. 321

PLUS! Ask out the latest product: FitCheck Solo™

FitCheck Solo™ helps take the guess work out of matching the correct hearing protection with known noise exposure. Learn More

Solving the Problem: Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

June 24, 2013

Can you get the right answer if you ask the wrong question?

Common sense would dictate that asking how to get to the beach would seldom get you directions to the mountains.  Likewise, trying to solve the problem of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) by fixing how people choose and put in their hearing protection might be only part of the answer.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is still a concern.

Noisy workplaceNoise Induced Hearing Loss affects, by some reports, 1/3 of the persons in North America working in noise. If 1/3 of the people in New York City had the same malady, you can bet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would respond.  Likewise, the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, the CDC’s workplace health and safety arm, has been on the case of NIHL for decades.  Regrettably, it is still a real problem.

In the last five years, several products have come on the market designed to measure the attenuation hearing protectors give to the people wearing them. These are  portable systems to measure the attenuation real people get in their work settings as opposed to measurements in a laboratory.  The granddaddy of these systems, FitCheck, has been around since 1994 and has been used extensively by companies like Alcoa to measure how effective their workers are at selecting and inserting effective hearing protection.  The problem these systems are trying to resolve is: How do we marry the right hearing protector with an individual and teach him or her to get the attenuation needed for it

Certainly this is a worthwhile goal provided once the protector is fit, it stays in their ears.  Aye, but there’s the rub.  Dr. Peter Rabinovitch has studied Alcoa’s hearing conservation program for many years. Dr. Rabinovitch says that “he can see no outcomes in Alcoa’s hearing conservation program attributable to the use of Fit Checking systems”.  That’s a lot of teaching and testing for no improvement in reducing NIHL.

Dr. Barry Bessler, in a speech to the National Hearing Conservation Association in 2007  tried to explain why rational, intelligent, normal people would turn up their digital music players loud enough to hurt their ears. Dr. Bessler’s answer was reasoned and complex.  One of the points he made is relevant to this conversation. He theorized that our sense of hearing is “hard wired” to our sense of safety.  Impair hearing and we don’t feel safe. In wanting to keep “in touch” with our environment, to feel safe, we need to be able to hear.  Therefore, if we are using hearing protection it must not block our ability to hear.  It must just make it safe to do so.  Given that most types of hearing protection substantially reduce our ability to hear our environment, will workers keep these protectors in their ears?  The evidence seems to indicate that they won’t.

This brings me back to my original point, in developing systems/machines to measure attenuation are we solving the problem of NIHL.  So what  we need to do is not worry about how much noise reduction a properly-worn hearing protector may provide if inserted in total compliance with the manufactuer’s instruction. What we need to worry about  is whether the protector is providing sufficient noise reduction for the noise in which the wearer works. Instead of using these systems/machines to teach, we should be using them to verify.

FOR EXAMPLE
……………………………………………………………………………………………….

If Joe is  is carrying a noise burden of 92 dBA  and he needs only 17 dB of noise reduction to be safe  and can get a consistent 17 dB of noise reduction from an earplug with an NRR of 33 dB, GOOD! Joe doesn’t have to be taught how to get 33 dB of noise reduction. Or, in the case of a custom earplug, one should be made for Joe that givens him 17 dB of noise reduction.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’m afraid I have my doubts that such a direction will be taken.  We need to be talking about making hearing protection as invisible to hearing as safety glasses are to vision. Instead, we have made them as cumbersome as full-face respirators.

In the interest of full disclosure Custom Protect Ear sells and supports the FitCheck and FitCheck Solo attenuation measurement systems. We do so understanding that they can be used as a tool to teach the effectiveness of hearing protection.  

 

ASSE Safety Show If you have something to add to this discussion, and you will be attending ASSE 2013 in Las Vegas this June, please come by and share it with me.
Custom Protect Ear is in booth # 551.

If you won’t be there, drop me a line to hearus@protectear.com

 

Jeffrey Goldberg | President
Custom Protect Ear

Attenuation in Earplugs

April 2, 2013

Consistency of Attenuation across Multiple Fittings of Custom and Non-custom Earplugs

Hearing protection devices (HPDs) play a significant role in protecting workers from occupational noise-induced hearing loss. Individual HPD fit-testing Noise Rating Attenuationestimates the amount of protection, or attenuation, that an individual achieves from a given hearing protection device as it is worn. Results from a single fit-test may not be representative of real-world hearing protection device performance over time, however, due to inconsistency in how the individual fits the hearing protection device from time to time. Jennifer B Tufts, Kelly N Jahn, and John P Byram conducted a study, the effects of hearing protection device type and user training on the consistency of attenuation achieved across multiple fittings were evaluated in a within-subjects design. To learn more or buy the study CLICK HERE.

In this study the subjects were initially naive to proper earplug insertion techniques and later received one-on-one training for the second half of the attenuation measurements. Consistency, or reliability, of fit was assessed using:

(i) the standard deviation of the ‘distance to ear mean attenuation’, a measure of fitting uncertainty, and

(ii) the standard deviation of the attenuation values across multiple fit-tests for each subject.

The custom earplug provided statistically significantly better consistency of attenuation than the non-custom earplug at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz. Training effects were statistically significant at 250, 500, and 1000 Hz and at the Personal Attenuation Rating. No interactions were statistically significant. These results indicate that, in general, subjects obtained more consistent attenuation with the custom earplugs than with the non-custom earplugs and that consistency improved with training for both earplug types. CLICK HERE to buy article. REAT reliability training © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

What is Attenuation

Attenuation measurements using a real-ear attenuation at threshold procedure were obtained on 30 participants wearing custom-molded and non-custom earplugs.

According to OSHA, for employees who have experienced a significant threshold shift, hearing protector attenuation must be sufficient to reduce employee exposure to a TWA of 85 dB. Employers must select one of the following methods by which to estimate the adequacy of hearing protector attenuation. The most Noise Reduction Rating convenient method is the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to EPA regulation, the NRR must be shown on the hearing protector package. The NRR is then related to an individual worker’s noise environment in order to assess the adequacy of the attenuation of a given hearing protector. This appendix describes four methods of using the NRR to determine whether a particular hearing protector provides adequate protection within a given exposure environment. Selection among the four procedures is dependent upon the employer’s noise measuring instruments.

Instead of using the NRR, employers may evaluate the adequacy of hearing protector attenuation by using one of the three methods developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which are described in the “List of Personal Hearing Protectors and Attenuation Data,” HEW Publication No. 76-120, 1975, pages 21-37. These methods are known as NIOSH methods No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The NRR described below is a simplification of NIOSH method No. 2. The most complex method is NIOSH method No. 1, which is probably the most accurate method since it uses the largest amount of spectral information from the individual employee’s noise environment. As in the case of the NRR method described below, if one of the NIOSH methods is used, the selected method must be applied to an individual’s noise environment to assess the adequacy of the attenuation. Employers should be careful to take a sufficient number of measurements in order to achieve a representative sample for each time segment.

NOTE: The employer must remember that calculated attenuation values reflect realistic values only to the extent that the protectors are properly fitted and worn.

Read more articles on Hearing Attenuation: 

THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT NRR’S

HEARING PROTECTION ATTENUATION IS REALLY MORE BETTER 

Personal Hearing Conservation Noise Reduction Measures

Every human has their own limit of acceptance – according to their attitude to their own life and health, their family and their colleaques. This limit of acceptance varies a lot from human to human, but even if the limit is exceeded one will back away from the risk. The limit is rather vague and is related to workers’ traditions, possibilities of finding other less unhealthy jobs and the degree of influence at the workplace. The individual limit of acceptance thus might be either above or beneath what is considered healthy or legally justifiable.

Employees can make their own noise reduction measures by:

* Avoiding unnecessary noise at transport and handling – “don’t throw the things”.

* Stopping machines and equipment that is not in use at the moment

* Securing loose machine parts that rattle.

* Reducing occupation and staying in high noise areas to an absolutely minimum

* Using appropriate technical equipment, for example encapsulation and noise shields.

* Making their own routines for maintenance, adjusting and oiling machinery and equipment.

* Taking part in development and evaluation of new noise efforts.

* If anything else is impossible, and hearing protectors like dB Blockers must be used: Use them all the time!

* By taking any incipient hearing damage seriously, involve health personnel and have all damages properly investigated.

Learn more about Personal Hearing Conservation. 

Hearing Loss Prevention NHCA conference

March 14, 2013

Hearing Loss Insights by Jeffery Goldberg

Hello from the world of hearing loss prevention. Some updates on recent happenings for the ear geeks” who really care abouthearing loss.

The “big show” with regarding to hearing loss prevention is the annual NHCA Conference . Annually it brings together researchers who have spent the past 12 months or more looking at some aspect of preventing people from loosing their hearing.  Their research findings forms the content for papers delivered at the conference (PowerPoint on steroids).

Some of the most interesting research about Hearing Loss (to me) was:

Dr. John Casali hearing protector research

hearing loss in warehouse

Dr. John Casali has researched the characteristics of hearing protectors and determined that a measure of ones ability to localized sound sources with certain protectors should be developed. Dr. Casali suggest that like the measure of attenuation (NRR), a measure of the capability of the wearer to localize sounds sources would direct certain users to a safer protector if they are in areas where moving dangers exist (like a distribution warehouse with forklifts)

Hearing Protection for Musicians

In a session on hearing protection for musicians, Meed Killion and Kris Chesky looked at issues with regard protecting the hearing of musicians.  While both of these presenters have different viewpoints, they confirmed there is still much more to do.

Otoprotectants (Protect Against Noise)

There is a class of compounds known as Otoprotectants. These are substances that it is hoped, when ingested, enhance the ability of the ear to process noise. One of these compounds is currently starting Class 3 clinical trials which might be complete by 2015.  For organizations like the US Military, that sometimes can predict when their personnel will be exposed to noise, the development something that will protect against noise is certainly welcome.  Imagine if you are going to Bruce Springsteen concert tomorrow and it’s going to be loud.  You take you otoprotectant tonight so the sound won’t hurt your hearing tomorrow.

As I said, this is the stuff ear geeks enjoy. An additional piece of information came out of the conference.  There’s some
ear-geek-research that has indicated that having anything in your ears can prevent hearing damage.  Although it is too soon to draw conclusions, early reports show that the problem of hearing loss from noise might be related more to unprotected exposures than we ever imagined. Stay tunes for further developments.

If you have any topic that you’d like to direct us to, please send it along to me, Jeff Goldberg at hear@protectear.com . We’d love to hear from you.

Custom Molded Earplugs

February 4, 2013

Custom Protect Ear has been providing custom hearing devices for over 25 years. The custom molded ear products sometimes called Personalized Hearing Protection, are just as, if not more, effective for the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss as are disposable earplugs.

What is a custom-moulded earplug?

A custom-moulded earplug is a laboratory-made earplug made from moulds taken by trained experienced impression takers. In North America the experienced impression takers may be audiologists, licensed hearing aid dispensers, or impression takers well trained by the manufacture. Most often, these are made of acrylic or soft silicone that can fit the ear and the ear canal tightly. The advantage of the softer earplugs is they change shape slightly as the wearer’s ear canal changes shape when talking or chewing, thereby continuing to seal during those activities.This deems to have great benefits when working in high activity – noise induced environments.

The custom-moulded earplugs are typically delivered in a protective storage/carrying pouch and will be accompanied with a tube of lubricant (most often petroleum jelly).dB-blocker-

The lubricant is applied to the earplugs during their initial use/break in period. The lubricant makes the earplugs easier to insert and also softens the interface of the earplug and ear improving comfort.

After about ten or so uses with the lubricant applications can stop as the silicon should have absorbed enough material to be easily inserted for the life of the earplug.

What is a disposable earplug?

So-called “foam” and pre-moulded earplugs are designed to be used for one time or in some cases, a few times. Exceptions to this restriction are those very expensive earplugs such as the Hi-Fi or military earplug that can be cleaned for repeated use.

Until the 1970’s the most common earplug was the V51-R made from soft silicone, a single-flange earplug developed for the military that came in five sizes. Because it didn’t work well, it required precise fitting.  Eventually it was discontinued due to repeated pressures from the scientists and practitioners in the hearing health community. Later other earplugs were developed with multiple flanges. ear plugs

When is a “custom-moulded” earplug NOT “custom”, but really a long-term use disposable earplug?

Simply put: Earplugs directly made from the impression materials, which can be considered as fitter-formed or mould-in-place, are not custom-moulded earplugs (Lake, 2012). This is true for a variety of reasons.

First and foremost is the impression material. Impression materials now used for laboratory-made custom-moulded earplugs are designed for the purpose of taking the impression and holding shape whist in transit to and whilst being processed to make moulds by the laboratory. Fitter-formed impression material is intended to become the final product and so it “cures” while setting during the impression process. In order for this to work, the fitter-formed impression material is more viscous than impression materials used for laboratory-made custom-moulded earplugs. As such, the likelihood of an impression free from flaws and with a faithful rendering of the shape of the concha and helix as well as the pinna and ear canal is small.

The impression for the laboratory-made custom-moulded earplug is also usually a silicone product made from mixing a base putty with a liquid or gel activator. Some laboratories use two-part silicone materials that combine catalyst and silicone in 50/50 proportion. The result is far less viscous material than used for the fitter-formed products; its viscosity is such that it may be put into a syringe for injecting into the ear canal and concha and helix of the pinna.

Second is the impression process. Fitter-formed products use putty created from combining a base putty with a liquid activator and then folding them until blended. That putty begins to cure immediately but has less-than a three-minute time window when it will be malleable. The putty is rolled into a cylinder and the pushed down the ear canal and padded into the concha and helix of the pinna. Once it seems to have cured, it is removed from the ear and trimmed. Handles or the ends of cords may have been attached after the insertion but before the impression cured.

For a custom-moulded laboratory-made earplug, following otoscopy, a cotton or foam dam is placed into the ear canal with its placement confirmed by otoscopy so that there is no chance for the impression material to travel deeply enough to make contact with the eardrum. As well, if the ear canal has excessive cerumin, the ear canal may be cleaned by the audiologist taking the impression or the person may be referred to his or her own physician to have the ear canals evaluated and cleaned – the exact procedure depends on locality and regulatory requirements.

Then, the impression material is injected to fill the entire ear canal between the dam and the opening of the canal behind the tragus and finally the bowl of the concha and the helix are filled.  There is a debate over whether the mouth should be closed, opened, or slightly opened during the time it takes for the impression material to set. The mouth slightly open (relaxed or with a bite block of 20 mm or so that) has been shown to provide better bass than mouth closed when the earplug is modified to be used with insert earphones. There have been no published studies of the differences in noise reduction between laboratory-made custom-moulded earplugs made from mouth-relaxed versus mouth-closed impressions.

Once the impression material has set, it is carefully removed from the ear, inspected to make sure there are no creases, ridges, or other malformations, and put into a package to be sent to the laboratory. There is no trimming done by the impression taker.

The experience and training of the impression taker is also very important. Depending upon locality and professional licensing regulations, the impression taker may have been trained by the laboratory making the custom-moulded earplugs, or have academic or clinical training in impression taking.  In any case, once the impression reaches the laboratory, its staff can determine the quality of the impression and may ask for a second impression if the first has flaws that the laboratory can’t adjust.

Already in the hands of some audiologists are laser scanners that can make a digital image of the impression, and the image goes to the laboratory for further processing to make the mould from which the earplug is made. As the image is stored digitally, so long as the file is not corrupted, it is possible to make as many earplugs from one impression as necessary for as long as is necessary. Soon to come will be digital imaging of the ear canal and pinna, so that there will be no use of impression material, as the image of the ear will be sent to the laboratory to be process into an earplug.  Either of these techniques should remove impression making from the hands of amateurs and DIY’ers.

Learn more about the advantages of Custom Molded Earplugs “Download the Whitepaper”.

 

What dB Blocker wearers are saying. 

 “I would like to say thanks I have had my db blocker vented convertible ear plugs for the past 7 years I would like to say that you guys make the best ear plugs I have come across I am a welder I have bin in the industry for the past 10 years. That are worth every penny great quality. Thanks you so much I will be going to my boss’s at my work (national steel car) to get all my brothers a pair of Db blockers.”

~ Babb Matt – National Steel Car.

Hearing Loss and Workers Compensation

January 14, 2013

Employees who are subject to high levels of noise at work will eventually experience hearing loss if they are not using proper hearing protection.  If that employee applies for workers compensation for hearing loss, the difficulty arises in determining exactly how much of that hearing loss is due to work related noise levels, and what hearing loss is either non-occupational or a natural occurrence due to age.

Testing for Hearing Loss

Determining this level of hearing loss is up to the workers comp claims adjuster. This can be very challenging because they must go back through the employee’s medical history related to their hearing. In some cases, they may have to go back decades to determine the correct percentage of hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work.High Noise Areas at Work

What the claims adjuster needs are previous records of audiograms performed by an audiologist or otolaryngologist in a soundproof room. These tests measure the employee’s hearing threshold at various frequencies. After finding previous records of hearing tests, the claims adjuster will then take a current reading of the employees hearing levels.

He or she then compares the previous levels to the current levels and adjusts the hearing loss depreciating the value for age and normal hearing loss that can be expected over the course of one’s lifetime.

If the new test shows an increase in hearing loss, the patient must then go through further testing by an otolaryngologist to determine if the hearing loss is due to a defect in the middle ear, an infection or a previous injury rather than to noise levels at work.

If the otolaryngologist determines that the hearing loss is due to one of these factors, the application for workers compensation can be denied, but if the otolaryngologist can determine that the hearing loss is due to noise levels or a combination of hearing problems, then the claim can continue.

Ask for a Baseline Audiogram – Mandatory from OSHA

Due to the complexity of determining these claims, it is imperative that employers offer baseline audiograms (mandatory under OSHA regulations) to new hires and encourage employees to wear hearing protection. The best way for employers to limit workers compensation cases is to protect the hearing of workers from the beginning.

Companies that incorporate hearing protection, like Custom Ear Protect dB Blockers™ into their safety program, will save money by decreasing hearing loss claims and reducing the cost of the claims that do occur. Explore our website to see how you can learn more about the difference in noise frequencies, how to test for noise levels at your workplace and how you can implement a successful hearing protection program.