The Top 6 Noisiest Jobs: Hearing Loss by Occupation

August 9, 2012

db-blocker-3I was recently perusing the ISHN Facebook fan page and saw this article posted. It is a very interesting article, something definitely worth sharing since one of the most forgotten senses is hearing. As individuals we tend to take our hearing for granted, until it is too late. In a noisy world full of sound devices, traffic & construction, congestion and especially  noise in our workplaces it is important to be cognoscente of the potential harm we could be doing to our hearing.  enjoy the read. Hearing Protection

Hearing Loss by Occupation

Is your job causing hearing loss? Your hearing is an incredibly valuable asset in the workplace. Unfortunately, some workplace environments may be more damaging to your eardrums than others. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 22 million US workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year. Unhealthy noise levels are one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and can lead to shocking statistics in some occupations. If you work in one of these six loudest workplaces, you may want to consider the effects your work environment may be having on your hearing.

Hearing Loss in Manufacturing

Hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing, accounting for 1 in 9 recordable illnesses. The reasons behind these staggering numbers are obvious, with all the large and loud machinery in this line of business. And this problem is all over the nation. Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the U.S., which means hearing loss can spread rapidly. In fact, a study in Michigan reveals that more than half of all cases of permanent workplace hearing loss is caused by the manufacturing sector. Learn about Personalized Hearing Protection for Manufacturing Companies.

Hearing Loss in Construction, Carpentry and Mining

Hearing loss in the workplace

Whether outside your window, on your walk to work or anywhere else on the street, you may be painfully familiar with the extreme noise levels of construction sites. Now imagine working there. For the country’s construction workers, these sounds can be particularly hazardous to hearing health. Long periods of exposure to noise over 85dB is considered dangerous to one’s hearing, yet many of the most common construction tools make noise well above this cautionary value. Let’s consider one the noisiest yet most common construction tools: the hammer drill. This ear-shattering tool registers at nearly 115dB. With these dangerous decibels, whether you are performing construction work at home or for pay, make sure to wear the right kind of ear protection. Learn more about the Industry.  Now Available: SMART MUFFS for double hearing protection

Miners and carpenters are particularly affected due to a similarly noisy tool set, as the next couple of graphs can attest.

Construction Noise lossMany common carpentry tools can be hazardous to your ear health. 

Hearing Loss as a Motorcycle Courier

Traveling on a motorbike beyond 50mph, can expose the driver to up to 90dB of noise under the helmet. The maximum recommended exposure limit at this level is 2.5-3 hours at a time. While slow city traffic might be more manageable, it’s more the day-in/day-out exposure, as well as longer travels on open roads that do the damage. Courier or no courier, all bikers can be affected. Learn how bikers can protect their hearing. 

Hearing Loss in Entertainment and Nightlife

All that hubbub can hurt your ears. Loud music is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Employees at bars, nightclubs, or concert hallsmight be enduring dangerous sound levels every night of the week.Most nightlife hotspots operate at levels well above 100 dB, which means the mood music may be doing some mega damage. Bartenders, performers, and security should all be well aware of these dangers, and seek out special earplugs specifically made for musicians. This also goes for rock stars. There  are available hearing protection for individuals and musicians.

Hearing Loss for Airport staff

If you have ever taken a look at an airport runway, you may notice the brightly colored ear protection worn by airport traffic directors. These are not just a fashion statement, but indeed a necessary precaution. The sound of a jet engine is one of the loudest auditory occupational hazards, with sound levels at a shocking 140dB. Sound waves are invisible, but at this level, they pack a whopping force. You can find the appropriate hearing protection for Airport and Security staff. 

Hearing Loss for Shooting Range Marshals

Guns and other firearms are loud, ask any military veteran. Shooting range marshals, if not carefully protected with heavy duty on-ear protectors or custom made ear plugs, can be exposed to up to 140dB of noise exposure during any given day. One more reason to think twice about that next excursion to the shooting range or hunting trip.

Fortunately, there are many preventative measures in order to mitigate the effects of workplace-induced hearing loss. Appropriate ear protection, in addition to the right diet, can keep your hearing health top-notch. And as always, Audicus is here to keep your hearing at its very highest…. and discreetest. Learn More hearing loss in the Shooting industry. 

Article by  Patrick Freuler. Read original article here. 


CPE: Sensear

July 12, 2012

Custom Protect Ear better serves their customers when it comes to personalized hearing and communication solutions.

Surrey, British Columbia, July 5th, 2012. Custom Protect Ear is proud to announce they will be distributing Sensear products to better serve their customers.  Both companies, Custom Protect Ear (CPE) and Sensear ,  are communication  and hearing protection specialists focused on providing clear communication and hearing protection in noisy environments.  Custom Protect Ear provides personalized hearing protection, dB Blockers™, which will integrate with select Sensear Smart Plug and Muff products. Sensear’s SENS (speech enhancement noise suppression) technology combined with the fit of a dB Blocker will give the wearer a radio communication and hearing protection experience ‘like they’ve never experienced before’.  Combine that with Sensear’s spatial recognition and the wearer is completely in touch with their surroundings. These two experiences combined will help reduce the ongoing ‘cost of noise’ in work environments. Click here to see the Sensear Products on Custom Protect Ears Website.

dB Blockers™ offer “The Smartest Hearing Protection in the World”, especially where interpersonal communication is required. The dB Blocker technology will reduce the cost of noise”; the cost of noise is hearing loss, productivity and risk management. Custom Protect Ear’s flagship product, dB Blockers™, eliminate hearing loss, mitigate risk management, and enhance productivity through effective communication.

“There is an underlying problem with the growing cost of hearing loss prevention in noisy work environments. It was documented that 40% of the companies surveyed reported that they had thought their workers lost up to 30 minutes a day when trying to communicate in noise. Plus, the average cost of hearing conversation programs is $310 per employee per year. With these costs combined with the workers compensation claims doubling in the last 10 years, companies are feeling the squeeze to their bottom line. There is also the issue of ‘human cost of risk management.  It is more important to reduce or eliminate accidents and fatalities in the workplace. If workers cannot hear or communicate, then it’s not clear, and hazards cannot adequately be avoided. It is only a win – win when workers are provided with the right hearing and communication devices that allows them to do their jobs in a noisy workplace.” says Custom Protect Ear’s, Jeffrey Goldberg.

Hearing protection and communication devices need to enable workers to have operational awareness in noisy environments. It is the mission of both Custom Protect Ear and Sensear to provide workers with the same experience in high noise induced areas as they would in low noise areas. Custom Protect Ear’s inventory of Sensear products will allow their customers (Industrial Hygienists, Occupational Therapists and Safety Professionals) to access a total hearing protection and communication solution. The solution, dB Blockers™, will enhance productivity, save money,  eliminate unnecessary costs and associated risks when it comes to providing workers with a safe working environment.


Founded in 2006 in Perth, Australia, and with joint headquarters in Perth and San Francisco, USA, Sensear is a world leader in the development and manufacture of high noise communication headsets. From a global network of sales offices Sensear is selling to end users via distributors,dealers and resellers in the majority of countries around the world. Sensear’s patented combination of hardware and software, isolates, cleans and packages speech while suppressing background noise to a safe level. The award winning technology has been incorporated into both ear plug and ear muff headsets that, whilst retaining situational awareness, enable face to face, mobile/cell phone, short range and two way radio communication in the harshest and noisiest of environments.


Founded in 1976, and with over 1 million wearers, Custom Protect Ear is North America’s largest personalized, industrial hearing protector manufacturer. Hearing conservation is our only business. We do not make hearing aid molds or disposable earplugs. This exclusivity allows us to devote all of our research and expertise to the innovation of better hearing protection. As a result, we have made significant technological  advances in the development of superior hearing protection.


For more information please contact us at:

Laura Bennett | Operations Manager
Direct: 1.604.635.3250

Sudden Hearing Loss – First National Guidelines Published

April 5, 2012

Sudden Hearing Loss Research

The first national treatment guideline for sudden hearing loss has been developed by a panel of 19 medical experts led by Robert J. Stachler, M.D., an otolaryngologist in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.  Sudden hearing loss is a condition which sends thousands of individuals in the United States to the emergency room each year. The guideline was published this month in the Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 

Dr. Stachler, said:

“In most cases, patients will have multiple visits with several physicians and undergo extensive testing before a diagnosis is made. There’s also been a lack of one or more uniformly accepted treatments, or a consensus on how to counsel patients who do fully recover their hearing. By focusing on opportunities for quality improvement, the guideline should improve diagnosis, reduce unnecessary tests and imaging procedures, and improve hearing for patients affected by sudden hearing loss.”

The team of experts developed the guideline after examining the literature and reaching a consensus for patient diagnosis, management and follow-up care. The panel included Christopher A. Lewandowski, M.D., a physician in emergency medicine, and Henry Ford’s Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss is a rapid loss of hearing in one or both ears which can happen to an individual all at once or over a period of up to 3 days. Usually, patients report that their ear feels full or blocked. Dr. Stachler notes that as symptoms of sudden hearing loss are so prevalent and non-specific, evaluation and treatment are often delayed in several cases. Sudden hearing loss can be caused by a range of issues, such as infectious diseases, induced hearing loss, head trauma, noise induced hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, and circulatory problems.

The new guideline, which is intended for all clinicians who see patients aged 18+, includes:

  • > Information for patients regarding the benefits and risks of medical intervention
  • > Recommendations to assist clinicians in determining whether a patient with sudden hearing loss is suffering from conductive hearing loss or from sensorineural hearing loss. Although both are common causes of hearing loss, they have extremely different treatment strategies.
  • > Recommendations advising clinicians to not order computerized tomography (CT) of the head/brain as part of the initial patient assessment.
  • > A range of amplification and hearing assistive technology available to those patients with incomplete recovery of hearing.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss 

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), a subset of sudden hearing loss is also covered in the guideline. Each year in the United States approximately 4,000 new cases of SSNHL are reported. Even though the majority of patients recovery completely without the need for medical intervention, roughly 15% of patients with SSNHL experience progressive hearing loss over time.

> The guideline is published as a supplement to Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and is available here.

> To learn more about the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford, click here.

National Hearing Conservation Association Recognizes Laurie Wells, Au.D., With Prestigious Michael Beall Threadgill Award

March 19, 2012

 Laurie Wells, Au.D., Manager of Audiology for Associates in Acoustics, Inc., received the Michael Beall Threadgill Award during a ceremony at the annual conference of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA). This award, established in 1985, recognizes an individual whose committed leadership and insight has furthered the NHCA’s mission of preventing hearing loss from environmental factors in all sectors of society.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Wells has been strong proponent of hearing conservation, both within and beyond the NHCA. Dr. Wells has represented the American Academy of Audiology on the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) since 2007; currently, she is the Vice-Chair of Education for CAOHC. She has provided occupational audiology services to local employers while employed at the University of Northern Colorado Speech-Pathology and Audiology Clinic. Her efforts are by no means confined to the United States: she has provided hearing conservation education and implementation in Belgium, China, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Spain and the West Indies.

In 1999, Dr. Wells accepted the role of Secretary on the NHCA Executive Council; she remained on the council for the next seven years, serving as Vice-President, President-Elect, President, and finally Past President in 2007. During this time she planned and participated in multiple NHCA Excellence Seminars, acted as Program Chair for two consecutive conferences, contributed to and served as Associate Editor for the NHCA Spectrum, and served on multiple task forces within NHCA.

 “Dr. Wells has selflessly donated her time and energy to our organization, and to the cause of hearing loss prevention. She exemplifies the ideals of the NHCA with her dedication,” said Laura Kauth, NHCA President and Chair of the Nominations Task Force.

Dr. Wells was also recognized as the 2011 Outstanding Lecturer for her thought-provoking presentation at the 2011 conference, titled “From Here to There to Hear”.

About the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)

The mission of the NHCA is to prevent hearing loss due to noise and other environmental factors in all sectors of society. NHCA provides networking, resources and professional development opportunities to improve skills, practices, and services in hearing loss prevention. NHCA’s membership includes audiologists, researchers, industrial hygienists, educators, professional service organizations, safety professionals, medical professionals, engineers, audio professionals, students, and others who have dedicated their work to the advancement of hearing loss prevention. For more information about the National Hearing Conservation Association, visit the NHCA online at or call 1-303-224-9022. Follow the NHCA on Twitter, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

Effective Hearing Protection Webinar: Dont Miss!

January 4, 2012


Hearing Loss Prevention: The Basics”Webinar Registration

Join the Webinar put on by the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) onThursday, January 12, 2012 
8:00 a.m. PST / 9:00 a.m. MST / 10:00 a.m. CST / 11:00 a.m. EST

The Presenter is: Theresa Schulz, PhD., CCC-A — Honeywell Safety Products (Read Bio)

These Series of Webinars are sponsored by Custom Protect Ear.

Effective Hearing Protection
As hearing conservationists we can measure, assess, document, and counsel, but when it comes to effective intervention, an important tool, sometimes our only tool, is a hearing protector. Therefore it behooves us to become knowledgeable about the specification of hearing protection devices and their use in hearing conservation programs. This presentation will focus on hearing protector function, how they are tested and rated (with particular reference to the NRR), the performance gains available from the use of dual hearing protection and hearing protection as a problem solver.

1 unit of ASHA Continuing Education Units is available. Contact hours have been applied for from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Register online today! (scroll all the way down on page)

Or Visit website to Download PDF

It was a tough year for workers.

January 24, 2011

2010 was tough year for workers in noise in both the U.S. and Canada. First the EPA tried to address problems with the labeling of hearing protectors. What problems? Well, currently the label on a hearing protector tells workers of the potential hearing protection that could be obtained from a protector. The problem is that few achieve this level outside of the laboratory. The problem is so acute that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) insists companies de-rate hearing protection (by a lot) when calculating how much protection they need to give a worker. This de-rating lowers the protection value of a hearing protector with a lab rating of 30 to 11.5. – over 60%.

So the EPA asked the ANSI working group on hearing protection for a better way to rate hearing protection while still measuring the “potential” of the protector.  The new rule will provide 2 numbers for rating hearing protection. The lower of these 2 numbers will be higher than the number used today (meaning further away from what happens in the real world – back to the drawing board).

OSHA announced yesterday that it is withdrawing its proposed noise interpretation that originally appeared in the Federal Register on October 19, 2010. OSHA had planned to insist companies with noise levels above 90 dB, engineer out the noise because hearing conservation programs are not working. They point to the fact that since 2004, 125,000 workers have had permanent damage to their hearing.  OSHA, after meeting with Senators Leiberman and Snowe, of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Sens. Snowe and Lieberman are also co-chairs of the Senate Task Force on Manufacturing.  Canadian regulations tend to follow the U.S. as these economies are closely linked.

So hearing protection labels are more misleading and no one will have to reduce the noise their factories make.  It was a tough year for workers in noise. Better toughen up your ears.