14 Feb 2019

Protect Factory Operatives From Tinnitus

Protect Factory Operatives from Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common condition across all age groups but it is more prevalent for people who have hearing loss. Whilst many sufferers can generally continue with day-to-day activities despite their condition, others are affected severely.  About 30% of people experience tinnitus at some time in their life, whilst an estimated 10% suffer persistent tinnitus. Tinnitus can grossly affect quality of life.

The British Tinnitus Association describes the condition as ‘the sensation of hearing a sound in the absence of any external sound.”  Sufferers may hear ringing, whooshing, humming and/or buzzing continuously and it can come or go in just one ear, or both. Experiencing tinnitus for the first time can be pretty frightening, and although there is no cure for tinnitus there are things that can be done to manage the condition. Using relaxation techniques, offset sound therapy and hearing aids are all worth a try. Employers can reduce the chances of their workers getting tinnitus by providing them with quality ear protection. Ear plugs can also prevent the condition getting any worse for existing sufferers.

What is the cause?

The exact cause of tinnitus is not known. Experts tend to believe it comes about as the result of some kind of change, either mental or physical. If a person suffers hearing loss, an ear infection or high levels of sudden stress the amount of information being sent to the brain alters. The brain tends to respond by bombarding the ear with requests for information. The bombardment of extra information the ear receives from the brain is the sound we refer to as ‘tinnitus’.

Frequent, prolonged exposure to loud noise increases the risk of tinnitus occurring or making the condition worse for existing sufferers. Protecting ears from very loud sounds (such as hammering metal, power tools, heavy machinery etc.) is a must. Effective ear protection is of course highly recommended for all workers in noisy industrial environments.

The intensity of a noise is universally measured in decibels(dB).  However, as well as noise intensity, consideration must be given to the duration of the exposure to the noise. Most international regulations for noise exposure at work state that the loudest noise someone should be exposed to for an 8-hour working day is 85dB. The British Tinnitus Association website explains this very well here.

The Trial

We offer businesses an 8 week ProtectHear® trial option so you can try them in your factory before you buy.

ProtectHear® – the UK’s market leading custom moulded ear plugs, available in 3 colours and have a lifespan of 5 years.  Whilst the hearing of ProtectHear® wearers is adequately protected from industrial noise they can still hear speech, warnings and alarms as they go about their day-to-day activities. Factory radio communications integration options are also available with ProtectHear® ear plugs.

To move forward with a ‘Try Before you Buy’ trial a ProtectHear® technician will visit your factory to take ear impressions of your workers. Individuals can each have a unique pair of custom made earplugs that will last them 5 years.

Check out our costs savings calculator here.

Book an appointment today now by phoning 01507 604322 during normal office hours.  Alternatively contact us via our online enquiry form here at any time.

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24 Aug 2018

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can have either a temporary or permanent effect on individuals. The main causes of hearing loss are excessive noise, aging or injury. Over 360 million of the world’s population have disabling hearing loss. It can also affect in Adults balance, mental health and risk of dementia. There are 4 types of hearing loss which are Auditory Processing Disorders, Conductive Hearing Loss, Sensorineural and mixed.

The signs to watch out for could be difficulty in hearing people clearly, listening to music at a high volume, having to focus on what people are saying and repetition of conversations. Using ear protection in a work or a social situation would be a solution to protecting your hearing from further damage. Also not inserting anything into the ears as this could make the loss worse. If any of the discussed applies then it is recommended to see a GP to see what they can advise.

If hearing aids aren’t appropriate then implants can be inserted into the ear. Alternatively if the hearing loss is too severe then sign language or lip reading may need adopting.

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15 Dec 2017

We can help Deafness in the workplace

Deafness is caused by exposure to loud noises over a period of time or momentarily, the workplace is not allowed to reach over 140dB in any circumstance. The lowest action level is 80dB when hearing protection is made optional, 85dB is made mandatory.

In the workplace if you’re hard of hearing or nearly deaf, it is important to still be able to hear warnings. Disposables and ear defenders don’t provide this type of technology as they cut out the noise rather than allowing it in. If you wear your hearing aids this is just amplifying the sound and potentially is damaging what hearing you have left. We provide a product called CENS Proflex Industrial a personally moulded ear plug with an active filter, which allows you to hear amplified levels of noise. The ear plugs have a 31SNR protection level and 220 hours of battery life. They feature 3 levels of volume control Level 1 5dB, Level 2 11dB and Level 3 18dB.

The technology instantly shuts down when any loud noises that occur, after doing so the volume returns to the previous setting. It is a type of industrial hearing aid, allowing communication and stopping anymore damage to your hearing.

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28 Jul 2017

What is over protecting?

What is over protecting?

Protecting yourself from harmful sounds is very important, to avoid loss of hearing and deafness. But over protecting is something that needs to be considered in relation to noise levels within your working area. Over protecting can lead to isolation, difficulty in communicating and not being able to hear warnings and signals. This may lead to employees removing hearing protection to communicate and then not being protected.

The HSE advises that you should not reduce the level of noise with ear plugs to 70dB, as this is seen as over protecting. ProtectHear® offers you the appropriate protection levels, whilst being aware of your surroundings. This gives you the ability to keep your hearing protection fitted at all times.

We offer a range of SNR levels such as 14, 23, 29 and 31. For example, if you’re just above the action level at 85dB then the 14 SNR would be the best option, as the 23 would over protect. Our most popular option is the 29 SNR with customers such as Network Rail, British Steel and Phillips 66. The 31 SNR is a solid version that blocks out the noise. The level of protection can be dependent on whether it’s a low frequency working area, you should always refer on to your Octave band analysis noise survey.

The HSE has an article on overprotecting you can browse through.

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15 May 2017

Deaf Awareness Week

From the 15th-21st May it is Deaf Awareness week. In the workplace if the noise level reaches 85dB then hearing protection must be made mandatory. There are 3 solutions to protect your hearing which are custom ear plugs, disposables and ear defenders. At the point where you reach 140dB is where pain is experienced from the amount of noise, for example being close to a Jet taking off.

There are quite a few signs to see whether you have hearing loss such as turning the TV up louder than other users and asking people to repeat what they’re saying. If these are the symptoms you are encountering then a hearing test is recommended.

There are two main types of hearing loss Conductive hearing loss, usually caused by wax build not allowing sounds to pass through to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by harm to the cochlea hair cells and/or the hearing nerve. This can be caused by either over exposure, ageing and other factors.

ProtectHear® is a great product which allows you to hear conversations, whilst still blocking out the harmful noises that can damage your hearing. Check out our FAQ’s guide.

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21 Apr 2017

Hearing Protection Education

Hearing Protection Education

Hearing protection is important in the workplace, a working environment with 80dB has to provide training and information, educating on the hearing protection available. 85dB is the level where action must be taken, to protect employees hearing from any permanent damage.

ProtectHear® offers toolbox talks to our customers, showing how to insert and properly fit our ear plugs, pointing out the highlights of why hearing protection should be looked after. Being able to hear your colleagues/background noise is important, especially in working areas where there communication is needed.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss is irreversible so it is important to notice the signs before it gradually gets worse.

3 types of hearing protection used are disposables, over ear defenders and custom ear plugs. One of these options must be offered by your employer if the dB level is 80 or over.

Included with our Try Before you Buy’ are toolbox talks to all our customers, this is to ensure that a trial runs smoothly educating employees on why hearing protection is important and why the trial is being undertaken.

If you need any more information you can contact us.

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