Hearing loss on the rise among Canadian oil and gas workers: study

August 16, 2019

Richmond, British Columbia — More Canadian oil and gas workers in the drilling sector are showing signs of job-related hearing loss, according to a recent study from WorkSafeBC.

oil-gas-pipework.jpg

Researchers looked at hearing test data collected by oil and gas employers from 2012 to 2017. They found that, despite an increase in workers reporting they wear hearing protection (to 98 percent from 94 percent), the percentage of workers with noise-induced hearing loss grew to 45 from 33.

Of the 294 workers affected, 66 percent were younger than 35.

“There are a number of reasons why workers may be diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss even though they are wearing some form of hearing protection,” Sasha Brown, an occupational audiologist at WorkSafeBC, said in an Aug. 22 press release. “The earplugs or earmuffs might be the wrong size, inserted or worn incorrectly, not worn for long enough, or they may not be providing enough protection for the duration and intensity of noise exposure.”

heairing loss oil and gas

Why choose Custom Hearing Protection

Custom Hearing Protection – means a customized hearing solution that fits the individuals ear exactly leaving little to no room for noise to get in. Just like one size fits all work boots are probably not the best choice, neither is one size fits all hearing protection. Every human ear is unique in size, shape, and depth. Therefore it makes sense that for hearing protection to be the most effective, as well as the most comfortable, it must be custom fit.  Due to the increase of hearing loss claims, more and more employers are choosing custom hearing protection over disposable ear plugs. Read More for a case study. 

WorkSafeBC offers the following recommendations to employers:

  • Ensure all at-risk workers wear sufficient hearing protection that fits, and that they understand how to properly wear it.
  • Make sure workers insert or wear the correct hearing protection before entering a noisy environment, and wear it until they exit that location.
  • Rotate workers to different positions to minimize their time in noisy environments.
  • Identify potential engineering controls to mitigate risk of exposure.
  • Ensure workers have their hearing tested and are aware of the results.

To assist employers and workers, WorkSafeBC has published a safety bulletin featuring an infographic on earplug insertion and online resources.

Each year, 22 million U.S. workers face exposure to potentially damaging occupational noise, and employers spend an estimated $242 million on hearing loss disability, according to OSHA. The agency’s requirements for hearing protection are outlined in 29 CFR 1910.95.


SOURCE
https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/17549-hearing-loss-on-the-rise-among-canadian-oil-and-gas-workers-study

Top CDN Safety Trade Shows to Attend in whats left of 2019

August 9, 2019

Bad news: with so many available, deciding which one(s) to attend can be a challenge!

Here is a sneak preview of what is Available for the rest of 2019.

Whether you’re trying to decide which show is best for your employees to attend or you’re on the flip side and are trying to convince your boss, here’s my list of the top ten safety shows to consider attending in 2019 and why:

CHES National Conference

September 22-24, 2019

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

ches conference saskatoon

For its 39th consecutive year, the Canadian Health Care Engineering Society will be hosting their Annual Conference of the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society in Saskatoon. Known as the “hub” that enables resiliency in healthcare, this conference welcomes attendees from over 400 healthcare facilities across Canada. The CHES Conference is a fantastic place for those in the field to expand their knowledge base, network and continue their education.

CSSE

September 22-25, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba

csse 2019 winnipeg

The Canadian Society of Safety Engineer is one of the most important safety organizations in the country which is why it comes as no surprise that attending their annual conference is always worthwhile. Hundreds of safety professionals from across Canada, the U.S. and beyond join each fall to learn about the most current safety information, tools and practices available to ensure their workplaces are up to date and compliant.

One great thing about the CSSE show is that each year it moves to a new location across the country; a major bonus for individuals who may not have a lot of work flexibility to travel. Last year it was Niagara Falls, this year it will be in Winnipeg and in 2020 it’ll be taking place in St. John’s.

Le Grand Rendez-Vous

October 30-31, 2019

Montreal, Quebec

grand rendez-vous trade show and conference

For any of you who live in Quebec, here’s a great French Canadian safety show to keep on your radar. This robust safety conference focuses on innovations in the prevention of work accidents and occupational diseases. There is a huge list of safety pros lined up to present (you can read more about them here) at the 20+ sessions which cover the newest in health and safety. Between sessions, be sure to walk the trade show which will include nearly 200 exhibitors!

Motorcycle Riding: Protect your hearing

As the temperatures rise and the days are longer activities and outings change. These changes related to summer often mean BBQs, gatherings, Motorcycling and July 1 and 4th festivities with friends and family. And what also does occur is more noise; noise when riding, noisy music, noisy fireworks and even noisier traffic such as motorcycle riding.

Motorcycle Riding: Protect your hearing; the effort is worth it

Whether you wear a full-face helmet, a three-quarter or a shorty, earplugs are a must. Hearing damage is cumulative and permanent. It takes a little effort to find an earplug that will work for you, but it will be worth it. It’s much less cost and effort than hearing aids, I can assure you.
Wear Your Protection:

When your ears are exposed to constant wind noise, several things happen: the cilia inside your ears get tired (no, seriously) and collapse. Your brain gets tired from filtering out all that extraneous noise, and that causes unnecessary fatigue. The nerve connections between your ears and your brain can sustain damage.

All of that combined means hearing loss. If you’ve ever found your ears ringing after a stint on the highway, that means, without question, you are damaging your hearing. A 60mph wind will cause hearing damage within 15 minutes. You have 7 minutes at 75mph, and 3 minutes at 85mph with no hearing protection. Yes, if you’re not wearing earplugs you are definitely slowly going deaf.Motorcyles

Windshields and full-face helmets can damp the wind noise some, but they often just change the windflow without quieting the noise. Earplugs are a great low-cost way to protect your hearing. The frequency of wind is excellent at damaging humans’ hearing. Earplugs will filter out those frequencies but they absolutely do still allow you to hear sirens, horns, and other traffic warnings. If you find the earplugs you’ve used block too much sound, try different ones.

There are a bunch of different earplugs on the market, and they can be divided into two simple categories: disposable and reusable. Disposable earplugs are made of foam, and the general rule is, they work well three times: if you wear them all day three days in a row, or if you take them out and reinsert them three times in one day, they’re done, the foam wears out, and they don’t hold a good seal anymore. They must be inserted in a specific way into your ear, and you can see that process on the CDC website here.

Hearing Protection – Earplug Options

There are also Reusable or custom hearing protection which is a little more expensive, but they will last you about 5 years and the fit your ear exactly. Custom Protect Ear’s dB Life All Sport Earpiece and Headset is the rider who wants to listen to their digital music player or radio, All Sport™ is the ideal way to take your tunes on the road. All Sport™ is a headset that connects to your digital music player and is specially designed to work in the harsh environment bikers endure. Wind noise, bike rumble, and traffic sound compound to make listening to radio or music a challenge while riding. Learn More about the All Sport. 

Whatever option you choose – it is imperative you choose at least one. If you are unsure then we recommend you ask your friends what earplugs they use, and if you can try a pair of theirs: that’s the easiest, cheapest way to go about finding a good, comfortable pair of earplugs. If you want a longer term solution then check out Custom Protect Ears website to find a hearing solution for you and your lifestyle need.

Good luck everybody, and happy hearing!


SOURCE

https://www.rideapart.com/articles/355870/ear-plugs-protect-your-hearing/

What is hearing loss?

July 30, 2019

After our eyes, the most important sensory organ is our ears, thus hearing loss has significant consequences. In most cases, hearing loss is age-related. However, it can also be triggered by loud noises or infections, or may be hereditary.

Hearing loss may occur very suddenly, although in most cases it is gradual, and so you only become aware of it as it progresses. Fortunately, in most cases impaired hearing can be improved, or even fully corrected, either by using a proper hearing protection device or by using a hearing aid. 

First signs of Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss rarely occurs all of a sudden. It usually develops gradually, over a long period of time – and is therefore imperceptible at first. This is because those affected gradually get used to the onset of hearing loss. Because the brain can compensate for the hearing deficiencies for a long time, there are few disadvantages in everyday life during the first phase.

hearing loss

But from a certain point, hearing loss can no longer be readily compensated for. Often, this is noticed by family and friends of the affected person long before they themselves realize they cannot hear normally. Hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life either socially and recreationally. With an already noisy world we have started to see hearing loss grow in the workplace as well. Solutions like a custom hearing protection device such as dB Blockers has grown in popularity amongst individuals and employers. Learn more. 

Long Term Affects of Hearing Loss

Even those affected by hearing loss who know that they can no longer hear perfectly often still do nothing for a long time. Using the argument “It’s still OK!”, they put off a hearing test with an audiologist or ENT doctor. This is because being aware of your own hearing loss is one thing, but acknowledging it is not so easy.

hearing loss

The problem is that if you wait too long, you risk serious consequences. Researchers have found that after about seven years, our brains simply lose the ability to hear certain sounds.

If you can hear these sounds again with a hearing aid, they may no longer be correctly interpreted, and are therefore often perceived as excessively loud and unpleasant – even if it’s something as harmless as the rustling of leaves or a friendly conversation next door.

The following three questions may help you find out if you have hearing loss:

  1. Do you hear low background noise excessively loudly?
  2. Do you have the TV on very loud?
  3. Do you find conversations stressful?

To Learn more about hearing loss contact your local Audiologist. Also check out our resources page. 

 


Source:https://www.connecthearing.ca/hearing-loss/

 

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.

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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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Occupational Health & Safety work conference Manitoba

January 22, 2019

OHS Manitoba

Safety: Be Part of the Solution

Every day we’re faced with issues that demand a solution in some form or another. From changing a light bulb up in the rafters to cleaning a spill down in the basement – safety should always be part of the solution.

Our program is designed to help you make safety part of your solution at work, at home and in your community. With the experience and know-how you bring to the event and the exciting new ideas and philosophies you’ll learn at the SSM OHS Conference, you’ll be prepared to use safety at every turn to help craft the best solution possible.

You’ll be sure to leave the annual conference well equipped with a “Safety Solution” for your workplace.

The show is 2 days Jan 23 & Jan 24th. Don’t forget to check us out at the show.

 

Custom Protect Ear

 

Working with our distributor, Ross Hearing.

ross hearing

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

December 4, 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

 

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.

 

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

June 22, 2018

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 

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: