Safety and OSHA News

Does losing hearing qualify worker for disability?

An employee who worked for years around loud machinery suffered hearing loss. He says that qualifies him for disability payments, but his employer disagrees. How did a court rule?  [Read more…]

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Was employee’s hearing loss caused by work or medical conditions?

This employee worked in a noisy environment for 17 years. He used hearing protection consistently for just five of those years. A doctor said there were other reasons for the worker’s hearing loss. Did he get workers’ comp benefits?  [Read more…]

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Method of measuring hearing loss questioned in workers’ comp case

Doctors for both an employee and his employer agreed: The worker suffered hearing loss because of his job. But just how much hearing did he lose? The amount paid to him in workers’ comp benefits hung in the balance.  [Read more…]

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Workers’ comp case: Hearing loss is due to work and aging

A retired employee wants workers’ comp benefits for hearing loss due to workplace noise exposure decades ago. How can you tell if that’s the cause, or if it’s normal hearing loss due to age? [Read more…]

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Metallica drummer uses hearing protection

Do some of your workers scoff at the idea that work-related noise can permanently damage their hearing? Here’s a first-person account of how that can happen from the drummer for heavy-metal band Metallica. [Read more…]

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New in-ear dosimetry measures noise exposure in real-time

Howard Leight Introduces QuietDoseTM: In-Ear Dosimetry Measures Noise Exposure in Real-Time to Help Prevent Workplace Hearing Loss

SMITHFIELD, RHODE ISLAND, USA, May 5, 2009 – Howard Leight today officially introduced QuietDoseTM — the only personal dosimeter that measures and records a worker’s actual in-ear exposure to noise over an entire work shift.  The introduction is a major advance towards stopping the progression of occupational hearing loss and ensuring employer compliance with hearing safety regulations.

Hearing Conservation Programs are only as good the data they’re based upon.  Existing noise measurement devices only sample ambient sound.  This shortcoming forces employers to estimate workplace noise levels and base hearing protection on potentially faulty conclusions which can end up wasting  money, risking regulatory violations, and endangering employee hearing,” said Renee Bessette, COHC, Marketing Manager, Howard Leight/Sperian Hearing Protection, LLC.

“In contrast, our QuietDose personal dosimeter measures the actual noise levels reaching a worker’s eardrums, in real-time, over an entire work day.  QuietDose provides safety managers with an unprecedented level of personalized data to create the most customized, and effective Hearing Conservation Programs for each worker,” she said.  “The result?  Fewer documented cases of occupational hearing loss for employees, and fewer claims and lower compensation costs for employers.  Supervisors can also use the personalized data to improve productivity by better managing worker deployment in areas of extreme noise.”

“Workers themselves can personally monitor and control their noise exposure in real-time.  Flashing alerts indicate when noise exposure reaches or exceeds prescribed limits. “If an eartip has not been inserted properly, QuietDose will alert the worker that he is not receiving adequate protection. If a worker removes his eartips for any length of time, QuietDose will assess that additional exposure and alert him should he exceed his allowable dose,” Bessette said.

“QuietDose can help halt the progression of occupational hearing loss,” she said.

In-Ear Measurement, Hearing Loss Prevention

The QuietDose system consists of a small Exposure Smart Protector® (ESP) Dosimeter that’s worn by employees in a shirt pocket or on the back of a hardhat; protective eartips or an earmuff with integrated microphones that record real-time in-ear noise levels; and a connecting harness.  An infrared reader enables safety managers to retrieve data from the ESP Dosimeter at the end of each shift or work week and analyze the results on a personal computer.

QuietDose provides the ultimate in accuracy for assessment of personal workplace noise risk, enabling safety managers and employees to:

  • Track, document, and address the potential of occupational hearing loss and Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in real time
  • Select appropriate hearing protectors for each employee’s noise environment
  • Train and monitor employees as to the correct use of earplugs or earmuffs
  • Streamline worker deployment by more accurately matching shift hours with proper protection
  • Identify potential opportunities to eliminate dual protection (the use of earplugs and earmuffs)
  • Compare the benefit of monitoring employee noise dose versus making capital investments in engineering controls to reduce specific noise levels

QuietDose is immediately available in the United States and Canada.  The suggested list price for a complete in-ear kit is just over $700, with significant discounts for multiple unit purchase.  For more information, visit the Howard Leight website at http://www.howardleight.com/quietdose.

Sperian developed QuietDose following its 2008 acquisition of doseBustersTM USA, a pioneer in personal noise dosimetry technology.  QuietDose represents the latest step in Sperian’s strategy of providing a comprehensive set of intelligent hearing protection solutions.

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