The start of a new year is always exciting: new opportunities, new possibilities, and the ideal time for a fresh reset. For our friends in the trade industry, the new year is a perfect time to upgrade - or reassess - safety measures in the workplace. According to the CDC, hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition in adults, with about 22 million workers exposed to hazardous noises each year. Choosing the proper hearing protection for your team can be overwhelming, but don’t worry - we are here to help!
Step 1: Identify the Safety Needs of Your Employees
With so many options available, narrowing down the ‘must-haves’ for your hearing protection solution is essential. What’s the ideal NRR rating? Is it important that the products have Bluetooth capabilities? Does your team prefer an in-ear vs. over-ear model? To filter through these options, consider your team’s daily duties and usage levels while keeping safety, functionality, and convenience in mind.
Step 2: Provide Usage Guidance to Employees
A CDC study notes that 53% of noise-exposed workers do not wear hearing protection. Despite knowing the risks this poses to their future health and well-being, workers can be resistant to change, especially with a product they need to familiarize themselves with. Take the time to guide employees on the importance of wearing hearing protection and how to utilize the technology properly. Most hearing protection devices on the market offer detailed product manuals and online instruction videos for consumers’ ease. Once employees are comfortable with these products, they will likely adapt to them on the worksite.
Step 3: Continually Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Chosen Hearing Protection
Hearing protection is not ‘one size fits all.’ Everyone has a different preference, especially for continued-use workwear equipment. Depending on the industry, workers need to prioritize certain hearing protection features. For example, in the construction industry, we recommend hearing protection that provides situational awareness with our patented Aware Technology™. Situational awareness is crucial on construction sites, and headphones with Aware Technology™allow users to hear the noises they want to hear, like coworkers and warning signals, while blocking harmful noise, like machinery and power tools. Headphones like the award-winning PRO Aware provide situational awareness, ANSI-certified 26 dB NRR, and OSHA-compliant protection, making it an ideal choice for the construction industry.
It is crucial to continually evaluate the capabilities of your chosen hearing protection - are there variations of a product that employees can choose between? If employees seem resistant to wearing the new protective equipment, why? Consistent evaluation and communication will ensure that not only are employees protected, but they are also comfortable working with the new product.
Looking for ways to upgrade your gear in the new year? Check out ISOtunes industrial page to order in bulk for your teams!