Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

December 4, 2019

A health and safety committee, comprised of worker and management representatives who meet regularly, brings the internal responsibility system into practice. This system recognizes that the employer and workers have a shared responsibility for workplace health and safety, with the employer having the final authority and responsibility. In most Canadian jurisdictions a health and safety committee is required by law.

This infographic outlines requirements and good practices for an effective health and safety committee, from defining roles and responsibilities to providing training and resources to recognizing and addressing workplace hazards.

Share the CCOHS Infographic

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 24, 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With the help of supporters like you, we’ve made incredible progress over the years.

In the last 20 years more than $360 million has been invested in breast cancer research by the Canadian Cancer Society and the former Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation combined, funding more than 1,000 research projects. The breast cancer death rate has dropped by 44% since the late 1980s.

The current 5-year survival rate is now 87%, due in large part to research advancements that have improved early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

But there’s still more work to do. Breast cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among Canadian women.

1 in 8 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

An estimated 26,300 Canadian women and 230 men will be diagnosed this year. That’s 72 women every day.

Let’s work together to create a world where no Canadian fears breast cancer.

Early detection + better therapies = 44% decrease in the breast cancer death rate since 19881 in 8 Canadian women will develop breast cancer

What we’re doing to help defeat breast cancer

Research

Thanks to the support of donors like you, CCS is the largest charitable funder of breast cancer research in Canada. This year so far, we have invested $12 million in breast cancer research in hospitals and research institutes across Canada. Over the last 10 years, we have invested close to $51 million in metastatic breast cancer research.

Information

Breast cancer can be confusing and overwhelming. Whether you’re worried about your risk, coping with a new diagnosis, living with metastatic breast cancer or supporting a loved one, we are here to help. Our services and programs offer vital support and information by phone, in person and online to all those affected by breast cancer, including family and friends. The Canadian Cancer Society can help you make sense of breast cancer with clear and current information you can trust.

Our website offers detailed information on breast cancer risks, screening, diagnosis, treatment, coping and more.

Our online tool can help you decide if breast cancer screening is right for you.

Publications on topics related to breast cancer are also free to order or download.

Our community services locator can help you find the services you need, such as support groups, wigs and breast prostheses.

Cancer information specialists are available by phone or email for anyone needing help to find information and support.

Support

Peer support groups offer valuable face-to-face connection, shared coping strategies and lived experience for people with breast cancer. To find a group near you, contact our Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca and use our Our community services locator

If you prefer to speak with someone over the phone, we also offer a free and confidential telephone-based service for adults 18 years and older who have been diagnosed with cancer or are caring for someone with cancer. You’ll have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience. Volunteers listen, offer encouragement and share ideas for coping.

Our online community, CancerConnection, helps people with cancer and their loved ones share their experiences and build supportive relationships. Visit CancerConnection.ca to learn more.

BRA Day

BRA Day (Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day) is a free, annual event that connects breast cancer survivors and women at high risk of developing breast cancer with leading breast reconstruction surgeons to answer all your questions. There are 25 events across Canada in 2017.

To register for an event or learn more about your breast reconstruction options, visit bra-day.com

Transportation

Since the mid 1950s, we have provided volunteer driver transportation assistance for people with cancer. Volunteer drivers provide return trips for patients from their home to treatment centres. They offer friendly support and kindness at a time when patients need it most.

If you need transportation to treatment, call 1-800-263-6750 or contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office.

Wig rooms

Our wig rooms help ensure people with cancer in communities across Canada have access to free wigs as well as a welcoming and supportive environment to try them on.

Donate now

5-year breast cancer survival rate in Canada – in the 1980s 73% and today (2006-2008) 87%

https://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/news/national/2017/breast-cancer-awareness-month/?region=on


SOURCE

Westone Acquires North America’s Largest Custom-Fit Industrial Hearing Protection Manufacturer

March 12, 2019

For Immediate Release

Westone

 

 

 

 

 

Westone Laboratories
2235 Executive Circle
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
www.Westone.com

Westone Acquires North America’s Largest Custom-Fit Industrial Hearing Protection Manufacturer

Colorado Springs, CO – February 14, 2019 – In partnership with their principal investment group, HealthEdge Investment Partners, Westone Laboratories, Inc., a market leader in custom earpieces, high performance in-ear monitoring technology and hearing protection, announced it has closed on its acquisition of Custom Protect Ear, the largest custom-fit industrial hearing protection manufacturer in North America.

Zubin Meshginpoosh, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Westone shared, “We are delighted to join forces with Custom Protect Ear, the most trusted brand in custom-fit hearing protection used by hundreds of industrial clients across a wide variety of industries.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, Chairman, and CEO of Custom Protect Ear added, “Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is an epidemic in the workplace, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicate it. This partnership with Westone allows us to expand our geographic reach, increase the pace of innovation and have a positive impact on more lives.”

Custom Protect Ear’s management team and operations will remain headquartered in Vancouver, BC with an operating subsidiary, ProtectEar USA, based in the United States.

###

About Westone

Established in 1959, Westone Laboratories is celebrating 60 years of delivering custom earpieces that protect and enhance hearing, facilitate communication, and support hearing healthcare professionals. The largest manufacturer of custom earpieces in the world with both hearing healthcare and music specialists on our research, development and production teams, Westone is recognized as a leading innovator across the custom earplug, hearing protection, and music industries. Westone is a proud partner of the United States Military providing specially designed communication-enabled and hearing protection earpieces for service members and first-responders around the world. It is our people, our experience, and our products that truly make Westone “The In-Ear Experts®.” For more information, visit Westone.com or contact Jeff Ipson at (719) 540-9333.

About Custom Protect Ear

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Custom Protect Ear was founded in 1976 and provides effective, verifiable, and noise level matched industrial hearing protection to over 4,500 corporate clients worldwide across a wide range of industries including distribution, manufacturing, machining, energy, packaging, public safety & security, transportation, and food. CPE is a certified and compliant ISO 9001 manufacturer that incorporates both traditional handcrafted manufacturing processes and leading-edge 3D printing technology. Known for their product quality and customer service, CPE utilizes a custom fitting process performed by highly trained technicians to personalize every protective earpiece to each user then backs it with a ‘FitRight Guarantee’ and industry-leading warranty program. For more information, visit ProtectEar.com

About HealthEdge Investment Partners

HealthEdge Investment Partners, LLC is an operating-oriented private equity firm founded in 2005 that focuses exclusively on the healthcare industry. HealthEdge seeks to achieve superior returns by investing in businesses that benefit from the knowledge, experience, and network of relationships of its partners. HealthEdge’s partners have more than 100 years of combined operating experience in healthcare as CEOs and investors. For more information on HealthEdge, please visit HealthEdgepartners.com or contact Elizabeth Breslin at (813) 490-7104.

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Noise-related hearing loss – Overview of Custom Protect Ear

July 5, 2018

Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common occupational hazards affecting 25% of US workers. It’s the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Repetitive, excessive noise is the main contributor to long-term hearing problems. It’s also a dangerous distraction, one that can cause other, more immediate and serious workplace accidents.

In response, many businesses use disposable earplugs to protect their employee’s hearing.

But if the earplugs don’t fit properly…

  • are uncomfortable
  • or prevent the employee from communicating
  • they may leave the employee’s hearing at risk.

Custom Protect Ear’s Mission is to eliminate Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Our dB Blockers address all these issues to deliver three key benefits. First, dB Blockers are extremely comfortable – which means people are willing to wear them, for their entire shift. Second, people wearing dB Blockers hear each other better – which improves workplace safety, communication and productivity. And third, dB Blockers are more cost-effective than disposable hearing protectors, so you pay less for a better product.

CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO ON NOISE RELATED HEARING LOSS 

How do we do it? We focus only on custom hearing protection

It starts with more than 40 years of research and development in hearing loss prevention.

That dedication has enabled us to make significant technological advancements in hearing protection, earn ISO 9001 certification and deliver a complete portfolio of products to more than 4500 international businesses in a broad range of industries. One of the keys is our custom-fit program, available throughout North America and internationally.

All dB Blockers are custom-fit to each user’s ear.

They’re also made from a super-soft, medical-grade SkinSoft silicone. This makes them exceptionally comfortable while providing a perfect seal, for excellent hearing protection. An exact fit also means dB Blockers provide excellent noise protection while eliminating itching… painful pressure points…and the need to wear bulky ear muffs. And, they come in a wide range of models, so you can choose the dB Blockers that match your workplace needs. You can also use the serial number to order a pair of dB Blockers for home, sleeping, swimming, or listening to music.

In addition to being extremely comfortable, dB Blockers are technologically advanced. Every pair of vented dB Blockers employs our proprietary “FT filters”. These work to block out background noise, while honing in on the frequency range of the human voice. As a result, people can hear each other better with dB Blockers, than without them.

People working in noise also prefer dB Blockers because they can be connected to numerous communication devices, including

  1. two-way radios
  2. Bluetooth cell phones and
  3. other audio components and devices.

Since employees don’t have to remove dB blockers to communicate with co-workers Or while talking on the phone or radio, their hearing is protected for an entire shift.

Finally, because dB Blockers can be worn for years, they provide significant cost savings over disposables.

That means you’ll save money while increasing compliance…

  • improving workplace safety…
  • enhancing communications…
  •  and boosting productivity.

Smart, right?

Custom Protect Ear, the North American Leader in industrial, custom hearing protection.

Because when you think about it, everything else… is just noise.

 

Hearing loss and accidental injury: Healthy Hearing

June 22, 2018

If you have hearing loss you may be at greater risk of an accidental injury at work or at play, according to a recent study.

Hearing loss and injury
Your risk of injury is higher with hearing
loss.

The study, which was published in March, used data from the National Health Interview Survey between 2007 and 2015 to analyze accidental injuries among a cross-section of adults. Accidental injuries were reported by 2.8 percent of adults over a three-month period, and the odds of such injuries were twice as likely among those who had hearing issues.

According to the study, hearing loss affects an estimated 16 percent of people in the U.S.

Hearing loss and safety

Study co-author Hossein Mahboubi of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of California, Irvine said the study establishes a link between hearing problems and accidental injury. “One can assume that if someone’s hearing is not great, if something comes their way like a baseball, or if they’re cycling out there and there’s a car horn getting close to them, they may not be able to hear that, and that theoretically can increase the possibility of getting injured.”

About 16 percent of the adults in the survey reported their hearing as anywhere from “excellent” to “deaf.” The rate of accidental injury increased from 2 percent among those with excellent hearing to about 5 percent among those with hearing problems.

Injuries were listed as driving, leisure or work-related. The rate of leisure injuries increased from .8 percent among those with excellent hearing to 1.4 percent among deaf adults, suggesting that people with moderate or severe hearing loss are more likely to get hurt while playing sports or engaging in other leisure activities.

Mahboubi said because they used CDC data for the study, they couldn’t get more detailed information about the categories. “You can’t really distinguish between, for example, what sort of sport injuries are out there, or what the participants were doing when the injuries happened.”

Those with good hearing or only a little trouble hearing had higher injury rates at work than those who were deaf. Mahboubi suggested that someone who has hearing loss might be more aware of dangers on the job and less likely to get injured.

Surprisingly, those with minor hearing problems were more likely to suffer injuries than those with more severe problems, which Mahboubi called an “eye-opening” result.

Because the people surveyed reported their own degree of hearing loss, Mahboubi said, the information is subjective. But he said the results were enough to show the relationship between hearing loss and accidental injury.

How to reduce your risk of accidental injury

Hearing loss Their goal is to remind people that hearing issues can be a health risk, Mahboubi said. “We would recommend that people who think they have at least some degree of hearing loss have it checked out by a doctor.”

Improving your hearing will not only help you reduce your risk of injuries and accidental falls, it will improve your relationships and quality of life! If you think you have hearing loss, check our directory to find a hearing healthcare professional in your area.


SOURCE:

https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52880-Hearing-loss-and-accidental-injury

Timber, Noise, and Hearing Loss: A Look into the Forestry and Logging Industry

Timber, Noise, and Hearing Loss: A Look into the Forestry and Logging Industry

We use our senses for many things. Take away or weaken one, such as hearing, and many things around us begin to change. Unexpectedly, the conversation across the room becomes more difficult to hear. Our favorite song on the radio doesn’t sound quite the same. This can become very frustrating for the person affected.

Hearing loss is common, especially among workers who are exposed to hazardous noise where they work. What exactly is “hazardous noise”? Noise is considered hazardous when it reaches 85 decibels (dBA) or more. In other words, when a person needs to raise his/her voice to speak with someone at arm’s length or about 3 feet away, a person is likely being exposed to noise that can potentially damage his/her hearing over time. This exposure to hazardous noise and/or chemicals that can damage hearing may lead to hearing loss linked to the workplace, also known as occupational hearing loss.

The risk of developing hearing loss varies by industry. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently looked at one particular industry sector in its paper: Prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed workers within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting sector, 2003-2012. This study looked at the number of workers in this industry sector that had a material hearing impairment, which is hearing loss that interferes with understanding speech. We’ll call it hearing loss in this blog.

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting is among the top industry sectors for worker exposure to hazardous noise that can contribute to hearing loss (37% exposed vs. 25% for all industries combined). Hearing loss within Forestry and Logging, an industry within this sector, is more pervasive. Noise-exposed workers in Forestry and Logging had a higher percentage of hearing loss (21%) than all noise-exposed industries combined (19%). To put this into perspective, a different study found that only 7% of non-noise-exposed workers reported hearing difficulty. Worker tasks in Forestry and Logging include:

  • managing forest nurseries
  • tending to timber tracts (plots of land selected for collecting timber)
  • gathering forest products
  • harvesting standing trees for timber

 

Timber-Logging

Activities associated with these tasks, such as unlatching cables used to hold and move logs (92 dBA) and the use of chainsaws (91-110 dBA), represent some of the highest noise exposures to this industry’s workers, and overall average exposures in some occupations have been shown to range from 97-102 dBA. These noise exposures, among others, contribute to the elevated prevalence of hearing loss seen in this industry.

Within Forestry and Logging, Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products had the highest prevalence of hearing loss (36%). This represents the highest prevalence within Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting.

Fortunately, there are effective methods for preventing worker hearing loss from noise. Reducing the noise, preferably at the source, is always the first and best step. To further reduce worker exposure to hazardous noise and minimize hearing loss within Forestry and Logging, this industry can:

  • Enclose engines and heavy equipment workstations to contain the noise
  • Install silencers and mufflers on equipment
  • Reduce exposure time for workers operating noisy equipment
  • Perform maintenance of hand tools and vehicle systems
  • Ensure that workers consistently wear properly-fitted hearing protection every time they are in noisy areas or using noisy equipment
  • Make sure that employees receive regular monitoring for changes in their hearing, so that additional measures to limit the progression of any detected hearing loss can be taken

There are also activities within Forestry and Logging that can expose workers to vibration, which may also contribute to the risk of hearing loss through suspected changes to the blood-flow within the inner ear. Vibration exposure can be reduced through routine maintenance of equipment and the use of anti-vibration chainsaws and gloves.

Visit our website for more information on occupational hearing loss surveillance and links to resources to protect worker hearing.

If you work in this industry, please share your experiences with reducing noise and improving worker safety and health.


SOURCE 

Hear in Noise Video Collection

June 5, 2018

After a few months of collaboration and creativity, we would like to present you with our latest Video Collection about Custom Protect Ear and our Innovative products, dB Blockers™, dB Com™, dB Life™ and dB Cares™. Below you will find the following videos:

  1. Noise-related hearing loss: Overview of dB Blockers
  2. Hearing Protection You Can Hear Through: Communication

  3. dB Blockers: How We Make dB Blockers at Custom Protect Ear

  4. dB Blocker: How to Wear

Please share these video’s with the world and spread the news about Hearing Loss Prevention.


Noise-related hearing loss: Overview of dB Blockers

Overview Video of Custom Protect Ear’s Manufacturing process on custom hearing protection. Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common occupational hazards affecting 25% of US workers. Custom Protect Ear’s Mission is to eliminate Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.

Our dB Blockers address all these issues to deliver three key benefits.

  1. dB Blockers are extremely comfortable – which means people are willing to wear them, for their entire shift.
  2. Second, people wearing dB Blockers hear each other better – which improves workplace safety, communication and productivity.
  3. And third, dB Blockers are more cost-effective than disposable hearing protectors, so you pay less for a better product.

Learn More about dB Blockers 

Hearing Protection You Can Hear Through: Communication

Good communication is critical in every workplace. But communicating can be challenging at a noisy job site, where it’s necessary to protect workers’ hearing. When properly inserted, disposable hearing protectors block most of the sound, rendering users functionally deaf. To have a conversation the earplugs must be removed, leaving workers exposed to harmful noise levels, which can damage their hearing.

At Custom Protect Ear, we address this problem. That’s why we developed our super-comfortable dB Blockers; re-usable, personalized custom-fit earplugs which protect AND connect, through our proprietary “frequency tuned”, or “FT” filters.

Learn More about dB Com.

dB Blockers: How We Make dB Blockers at Custom Protect Ear

Your ears are as unique as you are. So shouldn’t your hearing protectors be unique too? At Custom Protect Ear, we custom-fit every pair of dB Blockers… …because it’s the only way to provide complete hearing protection and all-day comfort.

The fitting process typically takes place at the job site. We’re the only maker of custom hearing protection that takes impressions using our own trained and certified employees allowing us to own the process from beginning to end.

Throughout the process, our top priority is ensuring a comfortable fit, optimum performance, and reliability. Because we know that if your earplugs don’t feel good, you won’t wear them – and that could put your hearing at risk. Custom Protect Ear manufacturing is ISO9001 certified.

Learn More about the Implementation Process.

 

dB Blockers: How to Wear

How to Wear your dB Blockers.
To get the best comfort, fit, and protection from your dB Blockers, it is important to make sure you are wearing them and using them properly. To start, let’s take a quick look at the instruction card that came with your earplugs. Follow Video along with the Instruction card.

Learn more about How to Wear dB Blockers™ 

Loud noise on the job are at increased risk for hypertension and high cholesterol

May 22, 2018

Cincinnati — Workers exposed to loud noise on the job are at increased risk for hypertension and high cholesterol – key risk factors for heart disease – according to a recent study from NIOSH.

worker-hivis-jackhammer

Using 2014 National Health Interview Survey data of nearly 23,000 workers, researchers estimated the prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing difficulty and heart conditions within U.S. industries and occupations. They also looked at the association between workplace noise exposure and heart disease.

The researchers found a link between a history of noise exposure at work and a significantly elevated risk of both high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Other findings:

  • The industries with the highest prevalence of occupational noise exposure were mining (61 percent), construction (51 percent) and manufacturing (47 percent).
  • Occupations with the highest prevalence of occupational noise exposure were production (55 percent); construction and extraction (54 percent); and installation, maintenance and repair (54 percent).
  • Occupational noise exposure contributed to 58 percent of hearing difficulty cases, 14 percent of hypertension cases and 9 percent of elevated cholesterol cases.

“This study provides further evidence of an association of occupational noise exposure with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and the potential to prevent these conditions if noise is reduced,” Elizabeth Masterson, study lead author and NIOSH epidemiologist, said in a March 21 press release. “It is important that workers be screened regularly for these conditions in the workplace or through a health care provider so interventions can occur. As these conditions are more common among noise-exposed workers, they could especially benefit from these screenings.”

Safety

The study was published online March 14 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

SOURCE:

Workers Safety Series | Protect Yourself from Harmful Worksite Noise

March 19, 2018

Why is job site noise control important?

According to OSHA, exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss.

For example, construction sites have many noisy operations and can be a significant source of noise exposure. Loud noise can also reduce worker productivity and contribute to workplace accidents by making it difficult to hear warning signals. Hearing loss from loud noise limits your ability to hear high frequencies, understand speech, and reduces your ability to communicate, which can lead to social isolation.

Hearing loss can affect your quality of life by interfering with your ability to enjoy socializing with friends, playing with your children or grandchildren, or participating in other activities. Damage to your hearing can be prevented, but once permanent noise-induced hearing loss occurs, it cannot be cured or reversed.

Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, so you may not realize it is happening until it is too late. Noise can also affect your body in other ways. A recent study found that workers persistently exposed to excessive occupational noise may be two-to-three times more likely to suffer from serious heart disease than workers who were not exposed.

Construction Workers

Photo by Yuri Kim

 You may have hearing loss if:

  • You have a hard time hearing people in groups or meetings or if there is background noise.
  • People sound as if they are mumbling.
  • You have to ask people to repeat what they say.
  • You have trouble understanding others on the telephone.
  • You have ringing or noises in one or both ears.
  • You have trouble hearing back-up alarms or the ringing of a cell phone

So, the bad news is – Hearing Loss; The good news is – there is a smart hearing loss protection option available to protect you from experiencing hearing loss. And no, it’s not your grandpa’s hearing protection, it’s a light easy to wear solution, called dB Blockers.

Remember those big clunky earmuffs you used to HAVE to wear while working in a noisy workplace; you know the ones that kept falling off your head because it just didn’t fit? Well if you do, that is not happening anymore. In today’s industrial world, Personal Protective Equipment has gone through some changes.

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE DB BLOCKER ADVANTAGE?

db Blockers

dB Blockers™ are hearing protection products made to fit the individual’s ear exactly, giving the worker a personalized, custom hearing protector (earplug) which can be worn all day long, while receiving “REAL WORLD” attenuation*.  dB Blocker™ custom molded hearing protectors (earplugs) are made from a Skinsoft™ blend of medical grade silicones, which is as soft and flexible as your own skin.

One of the problems with any hearing loss prevention program is getting people to wear hearing protectors and policing their use. However, with dB Blockers™ compliance is easy because they are comfortable. dB Blockers are custom molded so they only fit one way; the correct way, like a key in a lock, so it is not necessary to check insertion.

HEAR WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

” I am happy to recommend Custom Protect Ear’s dB Blockers for use by our employees at our plant.

I have had and continue to have the pleasure of working with the Custom Protect Ear (CPE) team for the past two years as we have provided all of our employees with dB Blockers.

Since the initial fitting and subsequent implementation of these earplugs, we have seen a 100% reduction in employee Standard Threshold Shift’s (STS’s) during our annual hearing surveys, and fully expect this trend to continue in the future.

The CPE team provided all of the resources needed to fit all of our employees and future hired employees. Employees simply are fitted, and within three weeks their new dB Blockers arrive and are immediately utilized by the employee(s) while working in our production areas, where the average noise level is 92 dB’s.

Without hesitation, I recommend Custom Protect Ear, their team, and the dB Blocker earplugs as a valuable part of your hearing conservation program.”

Sincerely,

Safety & Environmental Manager
Company Confidential.

Learn why more companies are choosing dB Blockers.


SOURCE

OHSA POCKET GUIDE: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3498noise-in-construction-pocket-guide.pdf

*attenuation

To make slender, fine, or small: The drought attenuated the river to a narrow channel. To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken: Medicine attenuated the fever’s effect.
Electronics To reduce (the amplitude of an electrical signal) with little or no distortion.

 2018 Olympics- be prepared and protected!

February 20, 2018

 2018 Olympics- be prepared and protected!

Well, it looks like the Olympics are in full swing ahead.  The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, more commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is an international multi-sport event currently being held from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, with the opening rounds for certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony—8 February 2018.

Pyeongchang was elected as the host in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. It marks the first time South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics, and the second Olympics in the country overall after the 1988 Summer Olympics in the nation’s capital, Seoul.

The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports, with the addition of “big air” snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic program. 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are expected to compete.

2018-Olympics-
Protection Against Hearing Loss at the 2018 Olympics

With exposure to observing great athletes also puts spectators at risk of damaging their hearing from the noise in the stadiums. In previous Olympic games “officials have admitted that noise levels in the stadia have regularly been over 100 decibels, with the boxing arena hitting 113.7db during a fight involving Irish boxer Katie Taylor.” Exposure to loud noise above 85 decibels over time can cause permanent hearing damage and with the closing ceremony fast approaching, the decibel level is sure to be much higher.

The Olympic Committee and its advisors urge Games revelers to pack earplugs, which can protect your hearing by keeping loud noises out without shutting out other ambient noises.

“Action on Hearing Loss Audiologist Gemma Twitchen said: “With crowds going wild for Team GB, noise has been recorded at levels in excess of 100db, which is much louder than a jet engine taking off, in fact, it’s 10,000,000,000 times louder than the smallest sound your ears can hear!“A night in a noisy crowd could cause temporary tinnitus – ringing, whistling, humming or buzzing in your head or ears – or permanent hearing damage. This is not something you’d want to take home as an everlasting memory from the Games.

You wouldn’t think twice about standing close to a jet engine without hearing protection, so we’re urging people going to the closing ceremony or any of the events in the Olympics and Paralympics to take the very simple step of using earplugs.”

 


Athletes suffering from Hearing Loss

Amongst all these festivities and test of personal willpower and strength we always want to remember some of the challenges athletes have overcome and endured significant hearing loss challenges in the previous Olympics.

Adam Rippon, Figure Skating

Before his successful career as a figure skater, Adam Rippon had to overcome several health issues in his early years. He was born with an eye infection and 80 percent hearing loss, and he also suffered from a severe respiratory condition and burst appendix. Fortunately, surgery was able to restore most of his hearing, and he recovered from the other illnesses. Adam will be in competing in PyeongChang as one of three men on the U.S. figure skating team.

Amy Purdy, Snowboarding

About of bacterial meningitis at age 19 resulted in Amy Purdy’s legs being amputated below the knees and the removal of her kidneys and spleen. The disease also led to hearing loss. Despite these challenges, Amy has pursued her passions, including dancing, modeling, and snowboarding, for which she designed her own prosthetic leg. She won a bronze in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and will be competing once again in the 2018 event.

Elena Yakovishina, Downhill Skiing

Another athlete born with hearing loss, Elena Yakovishina is a downhill skier from Russia who hasn’t let her disability keep her off the slopes. She wears hearing aids while she competes, which she says improve her balance and help her perform better by hearing the wind and the skis. Hearing aids also helped Elena hear the cheers of her home crowd when she competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Carlo Orlandi (Italy, Boxing)

Orlandi is said to be the first deaf athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. The boxer was a gold medalist in the 1928 Olympic Games. In 1929 he turned professional, and in the 1930s he held both the Italian and European lightweight titles. He was born a deaf-mute.

Tamika Catchings (USA, Basketball)

The 24-year-old WNBA star was born with a hearing loss and incredible athleticism. She has completed 15 seasons in the WNBA, and she has earned WBNA Finals MVP honors as well as the Reynolds Society Achievement Award. The world-famous Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston give this award annually to an individual who has overcome hearing, vision, or voice loss and who have distinguished themselves and provided inspiration to others.

Jeff Float (USA, Swimming)

Float was the first person to win the gold medals in both the Deaf World Games and the Olympic Games. In 1977 he won 10 gold medals at the 13th World Games for the Deaf in Romania. In 1984 he became an Olympic champion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And he was the first deaf Olympian to openly display the universal ILY (I love you) sign on the pedestal during his medal ceremony at the Olympic Games.The first deaf swimmer to win a gold medal, Float recalls to Sports Illustrated the moment that changed his life: “It was the first time I remember hearing distinctive cheers at a meet. I’ll never forget what 17,000 screaming people sound like. It was incredible.” At 13 months old, Float contracted viral meningitis and consequently lost his hearing. He’s 90 percent deaf in his right ear and 65 percent in his left. He now wears digital hearing aids.He learned to read lips, but he was teased by the other kids at school because of a lisp. He tells SI, “Kids would boost their self-esteem by putting me down. Swimming gave me the self-confidence I couldn’t find anywhere else. Besides, my name isn’t ‘Field’ or ‘Court.’ It’s ‘Float’ — I had to swim.”


SOURCES