Hearing Loss in the Mining Industry

November 27, 2012

The most common occupational illness for miners is hearing loss. Immediately noise levels come to mind – the large drilling machines, close proximity to loud machines and the reverberation off the walls of the mine. According to NIOSH and the CDC, by age 60, 75% of miners have a hearing impairment due to exposure to noise jumping castle.
Hearing Protection for Miners in the Mining Industry
Hearing loss is 100% preventable and unfortunately, once it occurs, there is no cure. You may not even notice that the damage has occurred right away, because it causes no pain and the damage is not visible.

If you are a miner and have loss of hearing, you may experience these symptoms:

• Difficulty hearing warning signals
• Difficulty hearing what someone is saying
• Accidents
• Ringing or buzzing in your ears
• After you leave a noisy area, your hearing may seem dull or muffled
• Headaches
• Tiredness
• Stress

Miners 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. Custom Protect Ear 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.

Our product is safer for miners because it allows them to hear. Hear warning signals, hear backup alarms, and hear the roof. Our dB Blockers™ are made from a non-flammable, hypoallergenic silicon blend (called SkinSoft™) unlike disposable earplugs, which are flammable and make users prone to ear infections. Disposable foam earplugs also swell when they come in contact with water or perspiration.
We urge you to consider Custom Protect Ear dB Blockers for your mine for a product that can be worn for an entire shift because if you can’t hear, it’s not clear.

CPE Leads on Noise Suppression Technology Hearing Protection

October 23, 2012

Custom Ear Protect (CPE) has been in the hearing protection business for over three decades. Their ability to produce a superior custom fit product at the cost of disposable ear plug is an accomplishment in itself. Not just cost, but quality factors have brought CPE to take a leading stance on noise suppression technology.  Custom Ear Plugs dB Blockers from Protect Ear

Thousands of companies worldwide trust their employees to CPE’s extensive line of hearing protection devices. Some of the biggest brand names in the business use dB Blockers and Sensear products offered by Custom Ear Protect.

From Alcoa to Kraft, Nabisco, Shell, Boeing, Chevron, Goodrich, Toyota, Air Canada, Honda, International Paper and Sterling Trucks.  We believe everyone, regardless of what size company they work at, deserves the best quality hearing protection.

Sound energy is expressed in decibels and is the bases of the name for dB Blockers. A test showing the noise levels within a specific plant is determined by performing a Dosimetry test. This test will show the full extent of noise your workers are subjected to over long periods of time.

The final results will determine which dB Blocker a company should use to best protect their employees. CPE can arrange this test and help in choosing the right custom ear plugs that fit the outcome of the report. All noise is not the same and without the specifics it can be difficult to understand which protection is best.

Custom ear plugs are a major factor in use and compliance within the workplace. With their highly trained staff a fitting takes just a few minutes. An impression is made of the ear and canal so that every dB Blocker is a perfect fit to comfort and safety alike. CPE has a FitRight Guarantee with everything they do, if the product doesn’t fit, you don’t pay.

A final process of workplace implementation of the hearing protection devices is yet another important step. We at CPE have set programs to help make sure that every worker is in compliance with the safety protection being offered. Not only is the color of our hearing devices easy to see, but the comfort and fit, will make anyone want to wear their devices all day, every day.

If you would like CPE to arrange a  noise dosimetry test for your company, please sign up for a noise level exposure test, submit a Dosimetry Test Request form (80K pdf).

Acrobat Reader is required to view pdf files. Free download if needed.

Why Should You Choose Custom-Moulded Over Disposable Earplugs?

September 25, 2012

Custom Molded Vs. Disposable Earplugs

Custom-moulded earplugs, sometimes called Personalized Hearing Protection, are just as, if not more, effective for the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss as are disposable earplugs. There have not been head-to-head studies of the relative effectiveness, but two major long-term retrospective studies of the effectiveness of hearing loss prevention programs can provide insight. Read Complete Whitepaper by Dr. John Franks.

Choose Custom-Moulded Over Disposable Earplugs Abstract

In 1989 Franks, Davis and Krieg (Franks, 1989) reported that noise-exposed employees of a company that provided Employee noise protection custom earplugs to all of its employees had changes in hearing over a ten-year period that were no different from their non-noise-exposed colleagues and peers.  The company had six facilities around the United States with noise-exposed employees as well as a cadre of employees of similar age and gender who were not exposed to workplace noise. All of the employees studied had been with the company for the ten-year period studied. Audiometric, health and hobby histories, as well as noise-exposure levels were known for all employees. A ten-year segment of the records was used for the analysis.

It was company policy to provide custom earplugs for use at work or home as well as to provide disposable earplugs to employees to use outside of work. Analysis of the data revealed that the changes in hearing that were observed were not due to exposure to workplace noise. Having resolved that and adjusting for age, statistical analysis showed hypertension and diabetes increased the propensity to have worsening hearing for women. For men, the factors were hypertension, diabetes, and use of firearms.

Read Complete Whitepaper

In 2011, Heyer, et al. (Heyer N, 2011- view abstract) reported a retrospective analysis of hearing conservation programs for three foam ear plugs different companies, all of which relied upon premoulded or slow-recovery foam disposable earplugs to protect employees from noise-induced hearing loss.

  1. > Company 1 made automobile body components,
  2. > Company 2 made automotive parts,
  3. > Company 3 was a major food processing company.


All of the employees had been at the study sites for longer than the period of time studied. Noise-exposure and hearing protector use histories were established for each employee as were audiometric records including relevant medical and hobby histories. In this study there was not a cohort of fellow non-noise-exposed employees, so the outcome was compared to a standardized set of data (American National Standards Institute, S3.44-1996 (R 2006)). The noise-exposure levels in the three companies studied were similar, as were they to the noise-exposure levels in the Franks, et al. (1989) study. Heyer, et al. found that two factors were associated with changes in hearing: age and noise-exposure level. Because of the strong effects age and noise-exposure level had on the data, it was not possible to assess the influence of other factors.

Had the pre-moulded disposable earplugs been used as effectively as the custom-moulded earplugs, then noise-exposure level should not have been a main effect associated with changes in hearing; with age factored out, noise-exposure level was as much a primary risk as would be expected for the unprotected. 

Read Complete Whitepaper by Dr. John Franks.


Oregon OSHA Noise Exposure and Hearing Conservation (PDF)

Occupational Noise: Assessing the burden of disease from work-related hearing impairment at national and local levels (PDF)

Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss – A Practical Guide (PDF)

Hearing Loss in the Aviation Industry

May 11, 2012

dB Blocker™ Discreet VentedEffects of Noise Exposure

On their website, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publishes a detailed brochure about hearing and noise in aviation occupations. It explains how the ear works, general types of noise and the effects of noise exposure, both in everyday activities and in the aviation industry in particular.

Written specifically for pilots, the FAA explains that hazardous noise occurs not only on the ground but also in the air. We would expect aircraft equipment, jet efflux, propellers, and rotors to cause noise induced hearing loss, but cabin conditioning and pressurization systems also give off noise that can cause hearing loss with prolonged exposure. Cockpit or cabin noise can be so loud that pilots have to shout to be heard buy inflatable giant water slide. Over time, even cockpit noise can cause hearing impairment.

How can pilots and other aviation workers protect themselves from noise induced hearing loss?

The FAA recommends limiting the duration of exposure to noise, but also recommends insertable-type earplugs. The FAA’s brochure states, “To be effective, earplugs must be inserted properly to create an air-tight seal in the air canal.” Custom Protect Ear’s dB Blockers™ are made to fit the individual’s ear exactly. It’s made of medical grade silicones that are soft and flexible, creating a comfortable, custom fit.

In fact, it’s no secret that we help aviation employees protect themselves from long term hearing loss. Some of our customers are big names in the aviation industry like WestJet, Air Canada, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing. Passengers can also protect themselves from the effects of prolonged exposure to noise when flying across the country. dB Blockers worn on such flights allow those wearing them to arrive much more refreshed and less tired. If you or someone you know works in the aviation industry, share the FAA brochure with them and tell them about CPE’s custom ear protection. We are here to help.