CPE gets involved in Fort McMurray Wildfires!

July 5, 2016

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

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, July 5, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire

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

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

Fort McMurray Wildfires!

About Custom Protect Ear

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

For further information, please contact:

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

Happy Canada Day from CPE !

July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st Celebrations for Canada Day is here. Are you prepared? Do you have your BBQ ready for the summer backyard celebrations? Is your cooler stocked? Your Canadian flags flying?

Are you also prepared to protect your hearing when the fireworks begin? A firecracker going off in close proximity can have a decibel level of 145 dB, loud enough to cause immediate damage to your hearing! What about a popping balloon at 125 dB or crowded stadium or concert noise at 130 – 140 dB where damage can appear in as little as 1-4 seconds with no hearing protection.


Do you have plans that include young children attending a fireworks display? Make sure you protect their hearing as well as your own or other adults in attendance so you can continue to enjoy July 1st celebrations for many years to come.

Canada bday

Bring out your dB Blocker™ hearing protection for your whole family and tell your friends as well. They will thank you to the stars and back… or where those starburst fireworks 😉


Happy Canada Day from all of us at CPE – Custom Protect Ear.

Can Your Profession be Causing Hearing Loss?

June 24, 2016

You love your work but does your work love your ears?

If you are involved in these professions you may be at increased risk for NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss).

  • Aviation – ground workers – factory workers – Within 25 meters of Jet take-off the noise level will reach 150 dB. That is loud enough to rupture eardrums. A Boeing 707 or DC-8 before landing is measured at 106 dB. A helicopter at 100 ft is 100 dB. Exposure to dB levels between 100 and 110 will lead to serious damage in as little as an 8 hours exposure
  • Construction Industry – jackhammers (100 – 120 dB), hand drill, belt sander or table saws (95-105 dB),air guns or pneumatic riveters at 125dB, compacting machines or sand blasting at (110 – 115 dB)
  • Dentistry – Dental office equipment can also be a source for concern with ultrasonic cleaners at 90 dB, ultrasonic scalers and stone mixers at 85 dB.
  • Emergency / First Aid Responders / Firefighters – 110 – 140 dB of noise is produced by Ambulance or Fire truck sirens causing immediate pain to humans and can also rupture eardrums.
  • Farming – equipment operators can be exposed to noise from tractors (75-110 dB), Combine machines (80-105dB), Crop dusting aircraft or Orchard spray at 85-115 dB). Animals at feeding time in enclosed spaces such as a pig shed at 105dB.
  • Factory – In industry settings, the noise levels can average up to 90-125dB. A textile loom at 103 dB, riveting metal at 130dB, electric and pneumatic tools along with industrial heaters, coolers and venting machines all add to the noise exposure in industrial settings over the 90 dB levels.
  • Forestry Industry – Logging – Mill Workers – a Chain saw is approximately 120 dB – a painful level to endure. Noise from idling trucks and log moving and sorting equipment can expose workers to levels far above safety levels.
Forestry Mill
  • Gardeners & Landscapers – leaf blowers, snow blowers, power mowers (85 to 100 dB), hedge clippers, weed eaters all in very close contact can be a worrisome downside of the job.
  • Garbage Truck Driver – Sanitation workers can be exposed to 85 – 100 dB of noise from their truck – enough to cause tinnitus or possible damage in an 8 hour exposure.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.07.35 PM
  • Hunting or Target Shooting – A cap gun at 155 dB ,a 12 gauge shotgun blast at 160-165 dB or a .357 magnum revolver at 165 can all cause immediate and irreversible damage.
  • Military – An Aircraft carrier deck can reach 140 dB levels and a military jet aircraft take-off with afterburner can reach 130 dB both loud enough to cause immediate and permanent damage. A howitzer cannon at 175 dB or a rocket launch at 180dB can have devastating effects on hearing.
  • Music Industry performers and stage crew – singers. Rock concert speakers are measure at 110 – 140dB – again enough to cause human pain or even rupture eardrums. Stadium crowd noise can even reach 130 dB. Some professional singers have expressed their concern over hearing loss and some are being proactive in protecting their hearing
  • Motorsport Industry – Mechanics – pit crews – drivers. A single motorcycle at 100 dB, 114 dB for a driver inside a car during practice or noise levels in the pit of130 dB are all levels of concerns.
  • Road crews / Maintenance / Construction Sites – an auto horn measured at 1 meter can cause pain at 110 dB, an idling diesel truck 80 – 90 dB. Add that to road construction equipment and your exposure levels are dramatically increased.

What dB levels are cause for concern?

Hearing damage can occur at the following levels when exposed for these lengths of time.dB Metre

  • Higher than 85 dBa for 8 hours or more









Hearing protection over these far reaching professions and industries is a concern that affects directly or indirectly most people.

You may be directly affected or your hearing loss may have a negative impact on your personal and working life. Understanding the impact that noise can have on your hearing is the first step to taking action. The second is actually protecting your hearing under these conditions.

Contact us to learn more about protecting your hearing. 

Monster Truck Jam is on! How much noise can you handle?

May 18, 2016

Monster Truck Jam is on! How much noise can you handle?

You grab your tickets, pack up the lunch and snacks, hustle the kids out the dMonster Truckoor and head out to the Monster Truck Jam, but wait… what’s missing? What about packing the hearing protection?

Entering an extremely loud noise environment can not only wreck your whole day (kids covering their ears, crying and wanting to escape the noise and begging to leave early) but also negatively impact anyone’s (yours included) hearing.

The WHO (World Health Organization) states on their website that “half o
f all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention”. They go on to state that acquired causes that may lead to hearing loss at any age can be from “excessive noise, including occupational noise such as that from machinery and explosions, and recreational noise such as that from personal audio devices, concerts, nightclubs, bars and sporting events”.

So how much noise is too much noise and how long an exposure can be too much exposure?

How can we judge for ourselves when the noise level and length of exposure could be damaging to our hearing? Studies tell us that noise levels higher than 85dBA (in a measurement unit called the A-weighted decibel (dBA)), have been shown to be a cause for concern of noise induced hearing loss. Statistics from Health Canada – Noise induced hearing Loss site are very alarming. Can you relate to being in any of these noise situations?

Due to the noise around you: Means the sound levels are probably: Means you’re at significant risk of permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for:
someone standing a metre away has to shout to be understood higher than 85 dBA 8 hours or more
someone standing 30 cm away has to shout to be understood higher than 95 dBA 45 minutes or more
someone has to shout into your ear to be understood higher than 105 dBA 5 minutes or more

In as little as 5 minutes you can be at significant risk of permanent hearing loss!

Health Canada goes on to warn that: “The sounds around you may also pose a risk of gradual, noise-induced hearing loss if you experience either of these signs after a loud noise has stopped:”

  • a temporary hearing loss – sounds seem muffled, quieter or less clear
  • tinnitus – a ringing, buzzing, roaring or rushing sound in the ear, which has no source outside the ear”

So, maybe you won’t take the kids to the Monster Truck Jam but what other activities can expose you, your family and friends to sound levels above the 85dBA range? Some everyday activities such as:

  • mowing the lawn, using a weed eater, table saw, chain saw or other loud mechanical device
  • even driving a car on the highway with the windows open can be a source of concern.

Add up some of the noise levels you are exposed to that would be considered above the 85 dBA level and how long you are exposed to them. This will have a cumulative effect on your hearing over time.

How can you protect your hearing?

Part of the suggested preventative measures from the WHO include: “reducing exposure (both occupational and recreational) to loud sounds by raising awareness about the risks; developing and enforcing relevant legislation; and encouraging individuals to use personal protective devices such as earplugs and noise-cancelling earphones and headphones”.

Ear plugs, ear muffs and headsets can all offer some forms of mechanical protection. They are not all created with equal protection and some may protect but also exclude your ability to hear conversations or low level noise that you want or need to hear.

The dB Blocker™ Classic (Vented) from CPE is an example of how you can have your fun and protect against devastating hearing loss. Not only can you enjoy your noise filled event but with this model of hearing protection you can actually communicate better than without them! No more shouting in someone’s ear to be heard. The unique proprietary frequency-tuned filter enhances interpersonal communication. No excuses that your kids can’t hear you any more J.

So remember your hearing protection devices when you head into your noise filled fun activities.

Health Canada


Why Must Hearing Protective Devices (HPDs) Be Tested?

April 18, 2016

Why Must Hearing Protective Devices (HPDs) Be Tested? Is It Just for Labelling Purposes?

The Good, The Bad and The Unknown About Testing HPDs (Hearing Protective Devices)

Here’s your problem: You have a noisy workplace or workplace activity and you have a person who works in that noisy workplace or conducts the noisy workplace activity. You want to protect the person’s noise-exposure level so you turn to the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) value from a Hearing Protective Device label to guide you in your choice of product. You do your calculations and trust the testing procedures to again guide you to make the best choice of HPD.

What should the concerned industrial hygienist, audiologist, or consumer do to protect the person’s noise-exposure level?

Let these 5 rules guide you:hearing protection devices

Rule 1. Be informed. The primary problem with HPDs is that they vary widely in effectiveness from individual to individual. Recognize that whatever rating value is on the label, it is a lower boundary, not a benchmark.

Rule 2. Recognize that HPDs, the head, and the ear are complex systems. The acoustics of HPDs aren’t accurately described by the principles of acoustics that were derived for large-scale systems such as walls, doors, windows, churches, and concert halls. HPDs and the head and ear to which they couple are a complex system. Change one element, or one part of one element of that system, and the entire system changes affecting the effectiveness of the HPD.

Rule 3. Employ fit testing if possible. The so-called gold standard for determining the effectiveness of an HPD is Real-Ear Attenuation at Threshold (REAT). The any type of fit-testing procedure is referred to as FAES – Field Attenuation Estimation System. The purpose of FAES is to insure that whatever HPD is used is effective for the individual’s noise exposure level. 

Rule 4. Select the HPD with the lowest possible NRR or, if available, the best SNR(SF84) for the noise exposure levels of concern.  The trend for the past 50 years has been to select the HPD with the highest NRR. This has resulted in many HPDs on the market that at face value are horribly overprotective.

Rule 5. Check the testing laboratory and the date of the testing. In general, try to ascertain if the testing laboratory is independent from the manufacturer. . Also, confirm that the laboratory regularly tests HPDs. For some products the data may be more than 30 years old from a laboratory that tested only one product. Also beware of excessively small standard deviations on the label; values less than 3 dB are suspicious.

Download a Research Study conducted by John Franks Ph.D

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What is the new CSA Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program Management (HLPP) and what does it address?

April 15, 2016

CSA Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program Management (HLPP)

In Canada the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) develops and maintains standards and codes that
impact the safety, environment, global economy and foster wider acceptance and adoption of new or innovative technologies. Volunteer experts from industry, governments, academia, regulators and consumers contribute to make standards work for people and business.

With workers in many occupational sectors being exposed to high levels of occupational noise it was critically important to identify these hazardous situations and implement preventative measures to help protect the hearing of workers.

CSA Z1007 – Hearing loss prevention program (HLPP) management is the first in a series of standards on occupational noise control to help address these potential concerns to worker health and safety. It covers all aspects of the creation and management of hearing loss prevention programs.

The standard helps guide businesses in establishing a management process for an effective hearing loss prevention program

SA Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program Management (HLPP)

“The idea is to make them knowledgeable managers of hearing loss prevention programs,” explained Jeffrey Goldberg – Custom Protect Ear / chair of the technical committee, on May 1 at Partners in Prevention, an occupational health and safety conference.



“The standard tells the non-professional they need to do a noise survey,” he noted. “It doesn’t necessarily tell them how to do it; it tells them how to know they’re getting an effective one from a service provider that is going to do it for them.”

Some of the concerns addressed were the fact that there were different criteria for Action Levels, Protection Levels and Exchange Rates. The difference between Canada & the U.S.A. show in the chart below:

USA Canada
Federally Regulated and Inspected Provincially Regulated and Inspected
Regulations are Uniform Across the Country Different Criteria in 14 Jurisdictions Across the Country
Action Level – 85 dBA Action Level(s) – 80 (4), 82 (2), 84 (1), 85 (1), Not Specified (6)
Protection Level – 90 dBA Protection Level – 85 (11), 87, 90 dBA
Exchange Rate – 5 dB Exchange Rate – 3 dB (11), 5 dB (3)

To reduce the incidence of NIHL Z1007 needed to target both the knowledgeable and uninformed Manager and in order to be effective needed to be referenced in regulation by the Jurisdictions in Canada. Long-term exposure to noise can result in both hearing loss and stress-related illness. In addition, noise can interfere with critical communications and warning signals.

The Scope of the Standard outlines the Elements of an HLPP from Education and Training to Record Keeping. Elements include:

  • Detecting the Noise Hazard
  • Controlling Noise Exposure
  • Hearing Protective Devices
  • Audiometry
  • Hazard Communication and
  • Monitoring Program Performance

Some things left unresolved and next steps are to start the revisions for the next version and to address:

  1. Is Hearing Acuity a Fit for Duty criteria?
    • If it is, how do you deal with hearing impairment created by the work environment
    • If it isn’t, how do you keep people safe?
  2. What is the Protocol for Persons with Hearing Aids
    • There isn’t a single protocol that can address this issue
  3. Transient, Temporary, and Short Term Workers need to be covered – How do we do that?
    • Is this the employer’s responsibility?
    • Is this the regulators responsibility?

“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”…. Former U.S. Surgeon General William Stuart


LIVE PRESENTATION: The Role of Standards in Making Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention Programs Effective

April 9, 2016

The Role of Standards in Making Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention Programs Effective

The new CSA Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP) Management and Changes to CSA Z94.2 Hearing Protection Devices

The Role of Standards in Making Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention Programs Effective


Workers in many occupational sectors – including manufacturing, mining, construction, transportation, and emergency services – often perform their jobs while exposed to high levels of occupational noise.

Long-term exposure to noise can result in both hearing loss and stress-related illness. Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can be addressed with the implementation of a Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP).

CSA Group has developed several standards that can help. This presentation will introduce the NEW Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program Management – the first standard of its kind – which covers all aspects of creating and managing an organization’s HLPP, as well as review the important changes to the latest edition of Z94.2 Hearing Protection Devices. Your presenter, Jeffrey Goldberg is Chairman (formerly CEO) of Custom Protect Ear Inc. and the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the National Hearing Conservation Association, in addition to serving as Chair of the Technical Subcommittee that wrote Z1007. Jeffrey will explain the content in Z1007, the changes to CSA Z94.2, and the cross-content between the two.


Sounds you can’t hear can still hurt your ears

March 10, 2016

All the shopping and socializing at this time of year can be enough to give you a headache, but could it actually be damaging your hearing?

On top of all the voices in busy stores and restaurants, many businesses pump up the music volume. So, when Global News received an email from a viewer concerned about noise levels, we decided to do an (admittedly unscientific) investigation.

Using a sound level meter and a smartphone app, we measured the decibel levels in various areas of an Edmonton mall with our viewer, Penny Jones

Read Full Article. 

Sounds you can’t hear can still hurt your ears

What is it about Edmonton that makes them conscious of damaging our hearing. Several years ago, research done in Edmonton showed the noise levels at playoff hockey games exceeded what would be considered toxic in workplace.  Same thing happens with football games in Seattle.  Now, once again Edmonton has shone a light on this persistent problem.

too loud

Let me pose a question. What would be the response to 20% of the people of Edmonton, Chicago,  Paris, or London were all suffering from the same ailment; the same disease. I think the response would be significant.  

Over 20% of those working in noise suffer from some noise induced hearing loss (NHIL); an industrial disease. Contrary to popular belief, NIHL is not just the result of an  exposure to loud noise. It caused by the ears being tired from constant exposure to more sound than they can process in a 24 hour day.  Articles like this one, that alert the public to be aware of noise from all types of sources.  It increases our sensitivity to this problem. Imagine working all day in a loud workplace with proper hearing protection. Now add to that the noise from the mall or the game.  Your poor tired ears!

(The article talks about a smart phone sound measurement app. Very few of these apps are accurate enough to be used for more the curious interest). 

So please be aware of how often you are exposed to noise. Whenever you can, limit the level of exposure AND the time. When you get a break at work, move to quiet.  Let your ears “catch their breath”.  As my Jewish Grandma would say, “it couldn’t hurt”.   

Jeffrey Goldberg.


Custom Protect Ear in the News…

February 23, 2016

Hearing Loss Prevention Trifecta

Custom Protect Ear is proud to be featured in industry related articles applicable to hearing loss and hearing protection. Editors have been focusing on the Hearing Loss Prevention Trifecta: Fit, Comfort, and Communication. 

Summary of Articles:

Hearing protectors help combat hearing loss, improve compliance

Effective hearing protection should be comfortable, effective, and yet still enable people to talk to one another. Custom Protect Ear’s hearing protection devices are made of a medical-grade silicone, and they are designed to be soft and flexible. The advantage of the softer devices is better comfort and function. They change shape slightly as the wearer ’s ear canal changes shape when talking or chewing, thereby continuing to seal during those activities….

Custom Protect Ear has been featured in the following publications, click on logo to read full article:

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Trail Body Builders



Post in Trailer Body Builders

January 8, 2016

Hearing protectors help combat hearing loss, improve compliance

Effective hearing protection should be comfortable, effective, and yet still enable people to talk to one another.

Custom Protect Ear’s hearing protection devices are made of a medical-grade silicone, and Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 8.28.54 AMthey are designed to be soft and flexible. The advantage of the softer devices is better comfort and function. They change shape slightly as the wearer ’s ear canal changes shape when talking or chew ing, thereby continuing to seal during those activities.

Greater comfort addresses a significant problem facing health and safety managers who oversee hearing loss prevention programs: getting people to wear hearing protection products and policing their use.

Including a filter and vent in custom ear protectors like Custom Protect Ear ’s can make speech more understandable by reducing attenuation at higher speech frequencies. This allows them to be left in while talking, and isn’t possible with typical solid foam earplugs.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article