The Need for Hearing Protection

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Many employees have grown accustomed to the levels of noise in their work environment and don’t realize that noise is a potential safety risk. They may think that the current noise – or decibel (dB) – levels they are exposed to are normal, and that hearing protection isn’t required.

Unfortunately, acting on this assumption could expose them to very dangerous noise levels without them even realizing it, leaving workers open to the possibility of hearing impairment and even permanent hearing loss.

Making sure your crew is equipped with the right level of hearing protection is key to safeguarding against those risks.

When is Hearing Protection Required?

 

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) states that workers shouldn’t be exposed to average noise levels exceeding 85dB for more than 8 hours at a time.  To give you a point of reference, 85dB is about as loud as a noisy restaurant. And, as average noise levels climb, the amount of prolonged, unprotected exposure deemed safe by CCOHS decreases.  In fact, the cut-off for safe, unprotected exposure to noise levels is 15 minutes at 102 db.  That’s about as loud as a motorcycle or an ATV.

It’s easy to imagine work environments that get noisier than that.

Take Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium as an example. Noise levels can hit an average of 117dB on game day.  During a concert, average noise levels in places like Calgary’s Saddledome can hit 120dB.  And in the summer, with road construction underway in Fort McMurray, Edmonton and pretty much everywhere else in Alberta, noise levels can peak at 130dB when jackhammers or other heavy equipment are in use.

People working in any of these environments are at a higher risk of hearing damage or loss, and that risk goes up if they don’t have adequate hearing protection. That damage can come in several forms, including:

  • Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing in the ear.
  • Temporary hearing loss, which can last up to 48 hours.
  • Permanent hearing loss. Which can impair an employee’s ability to hear noises at certain frequencies and noise levels. This type of hearing loss is gradual and builds over months or even years of unprotected exposure to high noise levels, and can be compounded with the effects of aging.

Think about what this means for your employees.  Impaired hearing can mean a diminished quality of life with workers less able to engage in things like listening to music or conversations with friends and family.  And when it comes to safety – on the job site or in everyday life – impaired hearing could pose a genuine risk.  Workers could find themselves unable to hear vehicles backing up behind them or radio calls relaying important information.

Because of these risks, precautions must be taken, and the right safety equipment has to be used.

What Are the Best Options for Hearing Protection?

 

It depends entirely on the work environment your team is operating in.

For example:  When a plane pulls up to the gate at Edmonton International Airport, noise levels can easily reach 120dB.  The ground crew working around that plane would need a much higher level of hearing protection than a security guard working at a concert.  And, if your team works in one of Western Canada’s refineries, manufacturing plants, or mills, there may be the need for Intrinsically Safe, CSA-approved equipment to be used.

Take a look at some of the hearing protection Tridon has to offer.  Some are lightweight headsets while others are heavy-duty, CSA-certified pieces of equipment.  Be sure to talk to one of our experts before you decide.  You want to be certain to get a headset that is both right for your work environment and compatible with the two-way radios your team uses.

As always, if you have any questions, Contact Us.

 

3M Peltor HT Series Headset with 3.5mm Threaded Jack

 

With its carefully designed speaker system and excellent attenuation, the 3M™ Peltor™ HT™ Series listen-only communications headset helps provide clear sound reproduction and communication in high-noise environments.

This versatile hard hat mount headset features earcups with liquid and foam-filled comfort cushions for long wear and optimum seal; adjustable, noise-canceling microphone; and flexible, insulated connection cords made from durable polyurethane.    Comfortable and durable, this headset allows for long-term use under tough conditions and has a Noise Reduction Rating of 23dB.

 

Motorola NNTN8379 Heavy Duty Headset (CSA)

 

This Peltor® heavy-duty headset designed to easily attach to your helmet is CSA-certified for extreme conditions and comfortable for long shifts. With a 24 db. NRR and optimal acoustic design, this headset provides ample space for ears while foam and fluid-filled cushions seal out noise, making it comfortable to wear even on long shifts. Also features an easily adjustable noise-canceling boom microphone. This headset must be ordered with the external push-to-talk NNTN8378.     

 

Motorola PMLN5731 Dual Muff Over-The-Head Headset With Inline Push-To-Talk

 

Designed for rugged use in noisy environments where hearing protection is required. Headsets include a flexible noise-canceling boom microphone and in-line push-to-talk. Noise reduction rating, 24 dB

Motorola RLN6512 Medium Hearing Protectors

 

The EP7 Sonic Defenders Ultra Earplugs come in small (RLN6511), medium (RLN6512), and large (RLN6513) sizes to protect your hearing without blocking your ability to hear routine sounds or conversations. With a foam-tipped stem design and soft memory-foam Comply Canal Tips, these comfortable earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 28dB. Safe sounds are allowed to pass through into the ear canal, while potentially harmful noises (above 85dB) are reduced through a filter. Filter caps are included and can be inserted for additional hearing protection or removed for use with surveillance kits.* With a patented EarLock® technology to hold them in place, all-day comfort, and a low-profile design, these earplugs can be worn while wearing a helmet or mask, or while using a phone or heavy-duty headset. Lanyard is included in each earplug kit, as shown in picture


Tridon Communications is an industry leader in providing wireless communication solutions to northern Alberta’s major industries.  We are an Authorized Dealer for both JVC Kenwood and Motorola Solutions, and have provided reliable, effective two-way radio solutions since 1981.  Our factory-trained technicians inspect, maintain, repair, and program equipment in our CSA-certified repair facility or in a customer-convenient location.

Tridon is a full solution Telecom Systems Integrator which includes our Engineering and Design team with APEGA certification.  Our Engineering, Service and Tower Division will collaborate with your team to build an engineered solution including communications systems design, tower inspection and co-location, wireless broadband and more. And, as a TELUS Customer Care Centre, we are more than happy to handle both personal and business cellular needs, as well.

 

 

 

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