NIOSH updates Sound Level Meter app

February 20, 2019

NIOSH has released an updated version of its free Sound Level Meter app, designed to measure noise exposure in the workplace. The update includes new information on how to conduct a noise survey and select proper hearing protection. The agency also has improved the app’s help screens, NIOSH announced Jan. 23 via Twitter.

Along with sharing and reporting data, the app has the capability to calibrate an internal or external microphone.
The NIOSH Sound Level Meter is available to download from the Apple App Store. For Android users, the agency states that because of the large number of available Android devices and models, “testing and verification of the accuracy and functionality of an Android-based app in our laboratory is not currently possible.”



About the Sound Level Meter App NIOSH Sound Level Meter App

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app combines the best features of professional sound levels meters and noise dosimeters into a simple, easy-to-use package. The app was developed to help workers make informed decisions about their noise environment and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.

Key Features

  • Developed by experienced acoustics engineers and hearing loss experts.
  • Tested and validated (accuracy ± 2 dBA) according to standards in a reverberant chamber at the NIOSH acoustics lab – the only proper method to validate accuracy.
  • Meets Type 2 requirements of IEC 61672:3 SLM standard when used w/ external microphone.
  • Provides the most relevant metrics found in professional sound instruments today. Averages such as LAeq and TWA, Max and Peak Levels, Noise Dose and Projected Dose according to NIOSH and OSHA standards, and all three major weighting networks (A, C, and Z).
  • Capability to calibrate either internal or external microphone. Reporting and Sharing data.
  • Up-to-date informational screens on what noises are considered hazardous, how to conduct a noise measurement, how to properly select a hearing protector and guidelines for preventing hearing loss.
  • Technical support is available directly from NIOSH hearing experts.

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter App is excellent for measuring noise exposure in the workplace; but how about measuring the attenuation of an earplug.


So now that we KNOW that the work in the environment is deemed “noisy” then how do we know the hearing protection is blocking out the allowed exposure of noise?

The answer is simple: FITCHECK SOLO™.  FitCheck Solo™ will measure any earplug from any source. No additional special devices are needed. Just the same earplugs they now use or even ones they are considering using. Learn more about Field Attenuation Estimation Systems. 


5 safety and hygiene practices to double-check in 2019

February 12, 2019

Now is the time for occupational safety professionals to check that the safety and hygiene practices in place at their workplaces are compliant with regulatory bodies — like OSHA — and will safeguard workers’ wellbeing.

Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that workplace accidents show a prolonged downward trend, but that’s no reason to get complacent.


Here are five things safety managers should verify in 2019

1. Equipment and behaviors to minimize falls

Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries. On January 17, 2017, OSHA enacted new rules regarding workplace surfaces and reducing falls as well as ways to prevent falls that happen when workers perform tasks at dangerous heights. One of those recent stipulations involves letting employers choose their fall protection systems by selecting from approved options.

Plus, occupational safety personnel should remind workers to exercise caution on slick and wet surfaces, use signs to warn others of hazardous surfaces and employ handrails or floor mats to further reduce risks.

2. A process for ill workers — especially those handling food

When people come to work sick, they could make their colleagues and members of the public ill too. That risk is particularly apparent among food service workers. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 20 percent of workers completed at least one shift while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. They could pass their illnesses on to people they interact with on a given day as well as the individuals who eat the foods they serve.

One of the best ways to discourage people from showing up sick is to create a procedure for them to follow for notifying supervisors of their illnesses so that those managers can find coverage when necessary. The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code stipulates that ill food service employees with certain symptoms must notify management.

3. Reasonable access to restrooms

Amazon recently came under fire after allegations that its employees urinated in bottles to boost their chances of meeting performance targets and not having to go to the faraway restrooms. Of course, Amazon denied that claim, asserting that all of its employees could easily access facility restrooms.

Regardless of the legitimacy of the claim, the situation is a reminder that all companies must provide appropriate restroom access. For example, it’s unlawful to make assembly line workers delay using the bathroom to keep productivity and safety levels high. As an alternative, the employees could tell line overseers that they need bathroom breaks.

It’s also crucial that there are enough restrooms to serve the number of employees at an organization. Otherwise, their level of access may be considered unreasonable due to lengthy wait times.

4. Hearing Protection supplied to appropriate employees

Millions of people who work in jobs associated with exposure to noise that may impair a persons hearing. Proper hearing protection will prevent workers from getting long term hearing loss. Hearing Protection can consist of disposable hearing plugs, ear muffs and or custom (molded) hearing protection similar to CPE’s dB Blockers™. dB Blockers™ offer superior hearing protection while enabling workers to communicate clearly with each other. Learn More 

dB Blocker

5. Awareness and education for seasonal dangers

Seasonal dangers also exist that could pose safety risks. Fortunately, OSHA regularly issues updates to provide the necessary guidance, just as the organization did during hurricane season to give recommendations for blue roofs, or the practice of installing blue tarps over the affected areas of buildings with damaged roofs.

If workers have to endure extreme temperatures, employee safety means considering how to keep workers protected from the elements, such as by requiring them to wear clothes to protect them from frostbite during the winter or staying adequately hydrated during intensely hot days.

Fatigue can also be a workplace danger, especially during the busiest seasons of a year. A stockroom employee might work overtime at a retail facility during the holiday season and find that tiredness increases their risk of accidents.

Statistics from a National Safety Council survey found that 90 percent of employers recognize that fatigue impacts their organizations. Most workers feel tired at work, but less than three-quarters of them see fatigue as a safety risk. Fatigue is not only a risk during busy periods, of course, but organizations must be exceptionally aware of it during such times.

Check practices at least annually

It’s a good idea for organizations to assess the recommendations outlined here at least every year, making improvements as needed.


Original Article:

How to protect your voice and hearing from damage at the Super Bowl and other loud events

February 7, 2019

You are vulnerable to hearing loss at any loud event — even bars and parties.


After winning Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrated on the field with his 1-year-old son Baylen.

The young Brees was wearing a pint-size headset. It was more than just a fashion accessory — the football star was protecting his son’s hearing from the deafening noise of a 70,000-person stadium.

Fans at this Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta would do well to follow his example.

ABC News spoke to two experts — Bernard Rousseau, Ph.D., chairman of the department of communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, and Catherine Palmer, Ph.D, director of audiology and hearing aids at UPMC — about ways to protect your voice and hearing at the Super Bowl and other loud events.

Exposure to high volume levels can damage hearing

Cheering, booing, air horns, music … there are many sources of noise at an event as large as the Super Bowl.

“Large sporting events, by nature, end up producing sounds that can injure your hearing. Everybody participating should be thinking about that,” said Palmer.

The type of stadium matters too.

“Super Bowls are usually in domed stadiums and that can help generate even more sound,” she added.

Palmer warns that even one loud event can cause damage.

“There are levels of noise that, over time, are going to produce gradual hearing loss,” she said. “You may not even notice for a couple of years … but there are also levels of noise, which are achieved at an event [like the Super Bowl], that can actually damage your hearing immediately. I think it’s important to understand that it’s permanent damage. A lot of people don’t realize that.”

At a stadium, people may not able to remove themselves from dangerous levels of noise. So earplugs are key, she said.

 A Philadelphia Eagles fan reacts prior to Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images, FILE)  A Philadelphia Eagles fan reacts prior to Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.

Loud noise exposure also causes more than just hearing loss.

“This kind of damage produces distortion in your hearing, sometimes ringing in your ears, and you can start to get a sensitivity to loud sounds. There are more things that go wrong than just the hearing loss,” Palmer noted.

And one is vulnerable to hearing loss at any loud event — including bars and parties.

“If you’re somewhere where they really have the music up loud, or the crowd is making lots of noise, wearing hearing protection in those situation makes good sense as well. Or move away from the noise,” she said.

Hearing aids, however, are not a fix-all solution to hearing loss.

“Although hearing aids help people tremendously, they do not fix the hearing loss,” Palmer said. “So you still have all that distortion in the system, which means even though hearing aids will help you, you’re still going to have trouble hearing in noise, even in regular noisy situations, like family parties or work situations. So there is no easy fix for this.”

She continued, “There are things called musician earplugs, which are nice because they reduce sound across all frequencies, so you can still hear accurately. But the key is to wear some kind of ear plugs.”

For little ones, an earmuff headset is the best solution.

 New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates with his wife, Brittany, and son, Baylen. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17, Feb. 7, 2010, in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images, FILE)  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates with his wife, Brittany, and son, Baylen. The New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17, Feb. 7, 2010, in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Technology and earplugs to the rescue

Palmer suggests using a phone app to measure noise levels when at big events.

“The rule of thumb is that over 85-90 decibels (Db), we worry about you if you’re exposed for about eight hours,” she said. “But those are averages. Some people will have damage sooner and some people will be able to go longer without damage.”

She went on, “Once you’re above 110, we start to worry about more instant damage. Those are levels that are generally pretty uncomfortable. But if you’re involved in the game, or you’re having a drink, you may not notice those things as soon, so you really want to go prepared with hearing protection.”

Ask us how you can protect your hearing at Loud Events like the Superbowl!

Read Full Article! 


Hearing preservation should be part of music education

January 20, 2019

For several years ProtectEar has been outfitting stars and musicians with custom molded hearing protection.

From Oscar-winning actors to top box office stars and Grammy-winning musicians, those who value their hearing the most wear custom hearing protection by Custom Protect Ear. See Celebrities. 

In essence, all musicians should value their hearing and understand the long term ramifications of being exposed to high-frequency noise over long periods of time. Hearing Health and Preservation is an important part to Music Education.

blackstone2Music Noise Exposure

Studies suggest musicians are four times more likely than others to experience hearing loss due to their repeated exposure to loud, prolonged rehearsals and performances.

Dr. Greg Horton, an audiologist at Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, understands this from his own experience. He’s played drums and bass for various bands over the past twenty years. He remembers attending a Ramones concert when he was 17.

“My ears were ringing for a week afterward and I felt like I had cotton stuffed in my ears,” he said. “I saw other people at the show wearing earplugs and I thought, ‘Hey, that’s probably a good idea,’ but nobody told me that was what I should do.”
Horton stresses that education is a key component of hearing preservation. He encourages music educators, those who give lessons, teach in schools or organize music camps, to incorporate information about it in their curriculum.

db life sweet tones

For instance, musicians may reject the idea of wearing earplugs because they don’t want to hear a low-quality version of what they’re playing.  What they may not know is, there are earplugs specifically designed to filter music while maintaining the fidelity like the dB Life™ Sweet Tones Musicians Earpieces. ThedB Life™ Sweet Tones reduces all frequencies equally by 9 dB, 15 dB, 20 dB or 25 dB with corresponding Flat Attenuation Filters.

This hearing protection is designed for musicians who want to hear sound without distortion but with less volume. Also recommended for those with some hearing loss for use as hearing protection in the 20 dB style. Learn More 

“So, for example, my band…we’re a pretty loud band,” Horton explained. “At practice, I use the strongest filters – meaning they will attenuate, turn down, the most. And then, when I play live, I switch out my filters and I play for a shorter period of time and I like to hear a little bit more of the music but it still keeps me safe.”

Hearing Loss Prevention

It’s much easier to prevent hearing loss than it is to treat it, and Horton says it’s not just musicians who’ve been playing a long time who should be aware of this.

“Because we’re seeing that this generation of young adults is having far more incidents of hearing loss than the previous generations for the same age group,” he said, “and it’s all about recreational noise exposure, whether it’s going to concerts, going to clubs, and definitely from all the excessive earbud use.”

He suggests that musicians give their ears a rest once in a while and also recommends a baseline hearing evaluation and annual follow-ups with a licensed audiologist.“We’re an industry that’s not regulated,” Horton said. “We don’t have OSHA coming in saying, ‘Oh, you’re a drummer in a rock n’ roll band? You have to wear your hearing protection,’ so it’s really up to us to do it ourselves.”

Read Article

High-frequency hearing loss

January 16, 2019

Understanding high-frequency hearing loss

There was once a television commercial for a well-known credit card company which claimed, “We treat you like you’d treat you.” It features a telephone conversation with two young men who look a lot alike. One has an affinity for frogs. The other is the credit card company representative.

“Hey! I heard you guys can help me with frog protection?” the potential customer asks the representative as he lovingly strokes the head of his giant, green, pet frog.

“Yeah, we provide fraud protection,” the representative responds and then proceeds to deliver a short pitch about the benefits of opening an account.

“Just to be clear, you are saying frog protection,” the potential customer asks.

Photo of audience at a loud live concert
Loud live music events are one of many
causes of high-frequency hearing loss.

“Fraud protection,” the representative says, as if he heard clearly.

“I think we’re on the same page,” the potential customer summarizes.

“We’re totally on the same page,” the representative concurs.

This is a funny scenario when you’re watching it play out on television, but not quite so funny when it occurs in your daily life because of hearing loss.

Take high-frequency hearing loss, for example.

People with this condition have trouble hearing sounds in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz (Hz) range. In speech, this includes consonants such as s, h or f. Adults with high-frequency hearing loss may have trouble understanding female voices more than male voices and difficulty hearing birds sing or the high-pitched beeping coming from their microwave oven. Speech may seem muffled, especially when using the telephone or in noisy situations.

When children have high-frequency hearing loss, it can impede their ability to learn speech and language, affecting their ability to excel in school.

Regardless of your age, high-frequency hearing loss can affect your quality of life, creating anxiety, depression and social isolation.

High-frequency hearing loss occurs when the sensory hearing cells in your cochlea die or are damaged. These hair cells are responsible for translating the sounds your ears collect into electrical impulses, which your brain eventually interprets as recognizable sound. High-frequency sounds are perceived in the lower part of the cochlea, while the hair cells that perceive low-frequency sounds are located near the top. Because of this, hearing loss typically affects the higher frequencies before it affects the lower frequencies.

Hearing frequency

Causes of high-frequency hearing loss

People of all ages can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss — and the reasons causing it are just as varied.

  • Noise – According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), more than 10 million Americans have suffered irreversible damage due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), with 30-50 million more exposed to dangerous noise levels on a daily basis. The damage can occur as the result of a one-time, loud exposure to noise, such as a gunshot or explosion, or can occur over time with constant exposure to noise louder than 85 decibels (dB).
  • Aging – Hearing loss that occurs as the result of the aging process is called presbycusis. Because this is a slow process which usually affects both ears equally, it’s often difficult to notice. One of the first signs is the inability to understand speech in noisy environments and high-frequency sounds.
  • Genetics – Check your family history. If your relatives developed high-frequency hearing loss, you may be genetically predisposed to developing it as well.
  • Ototoxicity – Some types of drugs are ototoxic, meaning they are harmful to your hearing health. Some of the more common ototoxic drugs include salicylates (aspirin) in large quantities, drugs used in chemotherapy treatments and aminoglycoside antibiotics.
  • Diseases – Meniere’s disease, which affects the inner ear, often occurs between the ages of 30-50 and may include fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo or intense dizziness. In children, chronic otitis media (commonly known as an ear infection) can lead to hearing loss if it’s untreated. If your child has chronic, recurring ear infections, please consult your pediatrician or an otologist for medical treatment before it affects their speech and language development.

Preventing high-frequency hearing loss; Hearing Protection

High-frequency hearing loss isn’t reversible, but in some cases, it is preventable. One of the best prevention techniques is to protect your hearing against exposure to noise – especially noise louder than 85 decibels (dB). Keep the volume turned down on your personal electronic devices and wear hearing protection whenever you anticipate being in a noisy environment, such as at the shooting range, when riding snowmobiles, or when attending a live concert or sporting event. Inexpensive earplugs are available at the local drugstore for occasional use. Or if you are always exposed to high-frequency noise over a long period of time, you may want to consider customized molded hearing protection such as dB Blockers.  If you regularly engage in very noisy hobbies, consider investing in specialized hearing protection such as noise-canceling headphones or custom-made earmolds which can be purchased through many hearing healthcare professionals.

Treatment options

As you can see, high-frequency hearing loss can result from many different underlying causes, most of which are not medically treatable. Fortunately, high-frequency hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids in most cases.

If you suspect you have hearing loss, make an appointment to see a hearing health professional to get your hearing tested. If your tests indicate you have hearing loss which can be treated with a hearing device, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, be sure to follow through with treatment recommendations. Research indicates most hearing aid wearers are satisfied with their hearing devices and enjoy a richer quality of life than those who decide not to seek treatment.

Read Full Article


Contributed by Debbie Clason, staff writer, Healthy Hearing


OUCH! Its Cold out there so protect your hearing…

January 2, 2019

Hearing protection in cold weather.  Are you trying to keep your ears warm and also protected from noise exposure?


These tips from an audiologist can help.

Cold weather can present unique challenges for hearing health and safety. Workers can be exposed to potentially hazardous noises in industries across British Columbia, from avalanche control to oil and gas, drilling, road construction, and forestry, among others. When equipment and tasks are at odds with hearing protection, workers risk permanent hearing damage and loss.

“Hearing loss occurs when hair cells in the inner ear are permanently damaged due to repeated exposure to hazardous noise, regardless of the type of noise,” says Sasha Brown, the occupational audiologist in WorkSafeBC’s Risk Analysis Unit.

“Both the level or intensity of noise, and the duration or amount of time someone is exposed to noise interact to create the hazard. This is why it is essential for employers to have a hearing conservation program and provide appropriate hearing protection equipment to workers.”

Heli-ski guides are particularly at risk of developing hearing loss because their work involves being in close proximity to helicopters. When the mountains become frosted with snow, they help clients get into the backcountry to chase fresh powder and adventure.

Along with the excitement of this line of work, comes exposure to sound levels of around 100 decibels (dBA) from the helicopters they need to work in and around for long periods of time.

What is a safe level of noise?

Noise hazards are calculated by combining the dBA — the intensity of a sound measured in decibels on a sound-level meter — with the duration of time someone is exposed to the noise, Brown explains. Noise levels that exceed 85 dBA over an eight-hour time period are hazardous and could cause noise-induced hearing loss.

“Because decibels are a logarithmic scale, a three-decibel increase in noise doubles the amount of exposure.”

88 dBA is safe for 4 hours

91 dBA is safe for 2 hours

94 dBA is safe for 1 hour

97 dBA is safe for 30 minutes

102.4 dBA is safe for 8 minutes and 37 seconds

Safety talk

November / December 2018 | WorkSafe Magazine 17

“Heli-ski guides face additional risks because they are required to interact with their clients and listen for signs of avalanche danger,” says Brown. “This makes it difficult for guides to wear hearing protection throughout their entire work shifts. They, therefore, need hearing protection that can be easily placed and removed at will. “A further complication is that guides are required to wear ski helmets, and most noise-reducing earmuffs are not designed to fit around ski helmets. Guides might feel that they cannot wear both a helmet and hearing protection.”

heli skiing

The key, says Brown, is to understand the risks of hazardous noise exposure and protect yourself using the right hearing protection for your line of work. Heli-ski guides should use at least Class B-rated hearing protection because of the intensity and duration of noise to which they are exposed. In other industries, it may be necessary to test out different types of hearing protection to find the option that works best for you and your job.

Five tips you should know about protecting your hearing:

  1. Know your options for hearing protection. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hearing protection. Investigate and test several different options with your employer to find the right fit for your hearing-protection and work requirements.
  2. Get an annual hearing test. This is an important way to gather information about whether your hearing protection is working effectively. Changes in your hearing ability could indicate a need to make some adjustments to your hearing protection, including its style, fit, and duration of use.
  3. Know the hazards of noise. Noise-induced hearing loss is both permanent and preventable. It has also been linked to cognitive decline and dementia, and can lead to social isolation. Get to know the risks associated with noise exposure, including the relationship between hearing loss and sound volume and duration of exposure. And always use sound protection when working around noises that exceed 85 dBA.
  4. Use well-fitted hearing protection. Hearing-protection needs vary by sector. If you choose to protect your hearing with earmuffs and also work in cold temperatures, you may need to remove your toque or beanie to ensure a proper earmuff seal — a thick toque can reduce hearing protection by up to 24 dBA. If you need to wear a helmet, make sure your earmuffs and helmet are compatible and do not compromise the earmuff seal. You may also opt for semi-insert canal caps or earplugs that fit underneath toques. These should not require a specific type of helmet.
  5. Frequently inspect your hearing protection. Work that involves a high degree of physicality and that takes place in an outdoor setting can speed up wear and tear on hearing protection. To prevent overexposure to noise from faulty or damaged equipment, inspect your hearing protection before each use.

Download PDF Here

For more information, search for “hearing loss prevention” or “heli-ski guide” on .

Tips for protecting your hearing during the festivities.

December 14, 2018

Its that time of the year again. 

As a Hearing Conservation company we wanted to provide you with a few tips for protecting your hearing during the festivities:

  • Try to reduce as much background noise as possible. If you are having a conversation with a small group of people in a larger party, try to break off into a smaller section of the room that may not be as loud. Choose the calmest section of a restaurant or party to socialize in.
  • Sit in the center of the dinner table so you are close to people all around you. If you sit at the end of a long table, your chances of hearing the folks at the end of the table are minimal.
  • Try to keep good lighting to facilitate your ability to rely on facial cues to help fill in the blanks when you mishear something. We all lipread a bit. 
  • If the music is too loud at a party – as it often is – don’t hesitate to ask for the volume to reduced slightly or pull out your reliable dB Blockers to block some of that unwanted noise. 

You shouldn’t have to think about hearing over the holidays, however, if you find yourself constantly working hard to hear, or relying heavily on the tips above, it is time to have a hearing test. Contact us and we can help you protect your ears! 


Holiday Season Hours:


 Friday, December 21, 2018  -10:30 am – Tuesday, January 1, 2019 
will reopen under regular hours Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Thursday, December 27th, & Friday, December 28th, 2018 –  8:00 am to 3:00 pm (PST)

Inquiries may be made at

From all of us at Custom Protect Ear –

Happy Holidays!

Why you should choose a ISO 9001 provider for your Hearing Conservation Plan

December 11, 2018

An effective occupational Hearing Conservation Plan (HCP) preserves and protects the hearing of employees who work in manufacturing, farms, mines, military bases and other noisy workplaces. An HCP also gives employees the knowledge they need to protect themselves from nonoccupational noise exposure. Since most HCP consists of Noise measurement, Noise control, Audiometric testing, Employee education/ training, and hearing protection we encourage most organizations to choose a provider who is ISO 9001 certified. Why? 

What is ISO 9001

iso ISO 9001 is a comprehensive management system standard. ISO 9001 is maintained by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by independent accreditation and certification bodies.

Some of the requirements in ISO 9001 include:

• A set of procedures that cover all key processes in the business
• Monitoring processes to ensure they are effective
• Keeping adequate records
• Checking output for defects, with appropriate and corrective action where necessary
• Regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness
• Facilitating continual improvement


Why choosing an ISO 9001 provider is a good idea?

The benefits of ISO 9001 are not overstated; companies large and small have gained great benefits from using this standard by discovering cost and efficiency savings. Here are a couple of explanations of benefits to you and your company and why they are important:

Improvement of your credibility and image

Because ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard, it has become the basis for creating a quality management system around the world, replacing many previously published requirements. When a company is looking for a supplier, it is often a requirement to have a QMS based on ISO 9001 in order to be considered. This means that your investment in hearing testing and protection adheres to a quality standard in the industry. You are getting the best.

Improvement of customer satisfaction

One of the quality management principles that are the foundation of the ISO 9001 requirements is to improve customer satisfaction by planning for and striving to meet customer requirements. This is vital to the success of your HCP program because satisfied wearers can mean happier employees and higher productivity and work safety standards.

ISO 9001

Custom Protect Ear has been independently audited and certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001.

This certification assures our customers that the quality of the products they currently trust to protect their hearing will be the same quality they will get every time in the future. The certification assures the quality and sustainability of its’ product and services for all of its’ customers.

Learn More about CPE’ ISO 9001 certification. 

Custom Protect Ear manufacturing is ISO 9001 certified. Every pair must meet our exacting standards before being packaged and shipped to the user’s worksite.


How We Make dB Blockers at Custom Protect Ear

T’IS THE SEASON OF GIVING: CPE donates $40,540 to Canadian Cancer Society

December 3, 2018

November, 29th, Surrey BC.

Custom Protect Ear donates $40,540.00 the Canadian Cancer Society.

The total of $40,540 of represents the monies collected and matched since 2010, for the Pink dB Blocker Initiative. All proceeds are provided to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Below see Picture: (Left – Dagne Blaauw, Jeff Goldberg and Right-Laura Bennett) 

Cancer society


What is the Pink dB Blocker Initiative

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. One of the ways we contribute is through the Pink Blocker Initiative. 

One of CPE community support initiatives is a program that partners with you to support Breast Cancer Research. By matching the $5 added to your purchase of each pair of pink dB Blockers, CPE will send $10 to the Canadian Cancer Society

The pink ear-piece shows that you are a supporter, and an active participant in your community’s support network.

Cause-related initiatives are an important part of the CPE corporate culture, and we welcome your ideas for helping us expand our programs in cancer research, autism support, education for better hearing health, and more eco-friendly ways of doing business.

When it comes to  Cancer, dB Cares™ 

Canadian Cancer society

 “We wish to thank all those who have so willingly donated to the cause to help find the cure”. 

The Custom Protect Ear Team

dB Cares


Why more people and industries are choosing Custom ear plugs versus disposable earplugs

November 20, 2018

Custom versus disposable earplugs

The goal of any earplug is obvious: reduce the volume of sound. And even though it’s true that any earplug can achieve this, it turns out that it’s not that simple, for two reasons:

  1. All sound is not created equal—The sounds of speech are much different than the sounds of background noise. You want to suppress more of the background noise than of speech or music.
  2. Sound is dynamic—specific frequencies necessitate different handling, and volume shouldn’t be decreased by too much or by too little.

So, for an earplug to be effective, it has to 1) limit the volume of sound, but not by too much or too little, and 2) deal with assorted types of sounds, or frequencies, differently.


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.

The slow-recovery foam earplug has the widest use in the world. In the United States, it accounts for approximately 75 percent of all disposable earplugs sold. While the V51-R required precise fitting to be effective, the slow-recovery foam earplug requires rolling down into a small cylinder, inserting as deeply into the ear canal as possible, and then, for some users, holding it in place until it has fully expanded and fills the ear canal, a process that can as long as two minutes depending upon the temperature of the earplug; cooler takes longer than warmer to fully expand. As a result, most wears do not get the noise reduction possible with that earplug (Murphy, 2000). Lets also not forget how much waste disposable ear plugs can cost us in the long run.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of custom-moulded earplugs

Quality of impression

When it comes to custom molds a trained and experience impression taker and the technicians at the laboratory are what makes the custom-moulded earplugs with a guarantee that the ear canal, concha, and helix portions of the ear were accurately obtained. The laboratory can also determine the impression material didn’t distort that ear and ask for a new impression as well. It is in the laboratory’s best interest to ensure that the custom-moulded earplugs that are shipped will fit its user perfectly, provides the de


sired amount of noise reduction, and is comfortable to wear. Uncomfortable earplugs, custom-moulded or not, will either not be used or “field modified” by the wearer to achieve comfort, defeating the entire hearing loss prevention programme in the process.

 Quality of Earplug

The custom-moulded earplug’s silicone material will last between three and five years, or longer, depending upon care and handling. Custom-moulded earplugs are that are regularly cleaned last longer than those that aren’t. Rinsing earplugs under warm water is often sufficient for cleaning. If desired, a mild soap solution may be used. Products that have detergents or solvents as bases should not be used to clean custom-moulded earplugs since they may damage the earplug over repeated use.


 All ear sizes can be fitted

Whether too large or too small for disposable earplugs, custom –moulded earplugs can be made to fit any healthy ear; any ear free from drainage.  Even ears that have unusual shapes due to birth trauma, disease, or surgery can be fitted successfully with custom-moulded earplugs if there is any ear canal present at all, whereas disposable earplugs are designed for normally shaped pinnae and ear canals.


 Impressions kept for five years

If the custom-moulded earplug is lost or damaged, it can be replaced without the need to acquire a new impression. All that is required is for the company making the earplug to maintain the impression or mould on file. Then the wearer can contact the maker for a replacement. No new impression is required. After more than five years, a new impression should be taken in any case. The pinna is one body part that continues to change with ageing as it is comprised of 100% cartilage (Ferrario VF, 1999). Thus, the earplug that worked at age 25 may not be as effective in noise reduction at age 31 years.  Just to make the issue less comfortable, the soft tissue of the nose also grows with ageing.

 Appropriateness of earplug to noise-exposure environment

Custom-moulded earplugs can be made with filters so that the amount and type of attenuation (noise reduction) delivered is no more or less than needed. While a solid custom-moulded earplug may be able to provide about 25 to 30 dB of noise reduction, filters can be inserted into a bore drilled through the earplug that will allow its noise reduction to be lowered to a desired level. A person working in less than 90 dBA of noise may need only 15 dB or so of noise reduction, and filters are available to reliably provide this. Of course, custom-moulded earplugs with filters need more attention to care than solid custom-moulded earplugs so that the filters don’t become blocked with soil or saturated with liquids.  Cleansing of these is best done with damp cloth rather than by rinsing or submersion.


So now that you know more about Custom Moulded Earplugs you’ll discover there are even more features that make them better than foam earplugs and have the edge in three critical categories: sound quality, comfort, and cost.


1. Sound Quality

Foam earplugs block out all sound and all frequencies, generating what is known as the occlusion effect for the user, which is the feeling of a “hollow” or “booming” echo-like sound in their own voice. Foam earplugs reduce all-around sound quality and produce a confined sensation.

Custom earplugs, conversely, have special filters for a precise, even level of noise reduction (attenuation). The earplugs can be programmed to reduce volume only by the necessary amount and can filter certain kinds of sound more than others, preserving the quality of speech and music.


2. Comfort

Foam earplugs, to be effective, have to form a deep seal within the ear canal, causing a constant feeling of pressure, and this “plugged up” feeling is nearly universal.

As mentioned earlier, Custom earplugs are molded to the contours of each patient’s ears by a hearing professional, producing a secure, natural fit without the feeling of constant pressure. Custom earplugs are also developed with soft, medical-grade material that doesn’t shrink or change form.

Additionally, foam earplugs are unable to adjust well to variations in ear size and shape. Given that custom earplugs are specially shaped for each patient, variations in ear size and shape pose no problem at all.


3. Cost

Let’s do some quick calculations, beginning with foam earplugs.

Assume that you work in a profession that requires the daily use of earplugs. Assuming an average cost of $0.19 per pair, with use on 5 days a week over 4 years, the total cost would be:

$0.19 X 5 days X 52 weeks X 4 years = $197.60 total cost.

(Also keep in mind the environmental cost: over four years you’d be throwing away 1,040 pairs of earplugs!)

Let’s compare that $197 to the cost of a pair of custom earplugs.

A top quality pair of custom earplugs can last four years or longer, but let’s just assume four. The majority of custom earplugs cost under $100, so your total cost after four years is less than half the cost of the disposable earplugs—and you get better sound quality and comfort in return.

Not to mention that by wearing the same custom earplugs for four years, you’ll eliminate the waste associated with discarding over 1,000 pairs of disposable earplugs.

Custom molded earplugs and disposable earplugs will both reduce volume and protect your hearing, but that’s where the commonalities end. Custom earplugs have far better sound quality, are more comfortable, and cost you and the environment, in the long term, much less.