A recent article by the CBC reveals that hearing-related health claims are on the rise for the Canadian military. In fact, nearly one third of military members have chronic hearing problems by the time they retire from the force. Another publication claims that ear damage caused by sound exposure such as gunfire and engine noise is the most common service-related disability for members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
The reason? Members claim that the protection they’re provided with is uncomfortable, incompatible with their other head gear and creates a feeling of isolation.
From tinnitus, the chronic sense of ringing in the ears, to complete hearing loss, auditory disabilities come in different types and levels of severity.
Hearing loss isn’t unique to the military – in fact, hundreds of other industries in Canada have workers exposed to loud noises while on the job each day. The solution may seem simple – why not just use earplugs? While earplugs are one effective style of hearing protection, establishing a hearing conservation program for your unique needs and environment will ensure total protection.
This week we’re discussing the three ways to keep you (and your ears!) protected on site.
These modern ear muffs allow you to connect directly to your phone so you can take and make phone calls without having to remove your hearing protection. What’s better? The noise cancelling microphone means that the person on the other end of the phone can hear you despite the noise of your loud surroundings. WS-CUSH from 3M easily integrates into you your existing 3M X Series ear muff at an entry-level price point.
Headset-to-headset muffs and earplugs have either a built-in short range radio or wired radio connection to keep workers safe and connected. 3M’s Peltor line provides a wide range of great, two-way communications solutions suited for any work site.
3. Ambient Noise Filtering
Last of all, ambient noise filtering muffs typically include one the two technologies mentioned above. Each set has a microphone on the outside and speakers on the inside to help reduce high levels of noise while letting lower-volume noises like speech to pass through. This allows for clear face-to-face conversations, even in front a jet engine.
Sensear has a full range of options that provide ambient noise filtering and radio communications. Typically, all three options are ear muff models due to the technology required, however ear plug styles are also available. Features of these top-line solutions include the ability to control multiple radios are once to direct to different teams. It should be noted that these styles from brands such as Invisio are designed for military and emergency services personnel which usually means there’s a higher price tag attached.
Since 2014, the military has spent $210,000 more on costs related to hearing loss, from $890,000 up to $1.1 million – and, for good reason! Whether you’re in combat or on a busy construction site, these hearing communication devices are a sure way to keep your ears protected while keeping you accessible; remember, noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable with properly-fitted hearing protection.
Be sure to check out our page on hearing conservation for more information.
Have questions? Let us know! We’re happy to help you review your hearing conservation program and identify your unique needs.