Sensear, the world’s leading provider of high noise communication headsets, came out in support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) goal of significantly reducing workplace-related noise induced hearing loss.
Sensear’s CEO, Justin Miller, states, “We applaud OSHA’s goal of reducing noise induced hearing loss, one of the most prevalent work-related injuries in the US. The attention that OSHA is bringing to this issue is going to benefit countless people by raising awareness of the issue, provoking discussion about possible solutions, and spurring innovation and investment, which is the only way this problem will ever be solved.
“[The] announcement by OSHA to step back and seek wider input from stakeholders and industry about how to best reduce occupational hearing loss is welcomed. Clearly, OSHA listened to the initial concerns expressed by industry about the undue cost and complexity the initial proposed interpretation would have caused. However, we implore OSHA to reach out to the hearing protection industry, which has invested tens of millions of dollars in new technologies that can significantly contribute to this goal.”
In the previous announcement by OSHA relating to the interpretation, Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said, “There is sufficient evidence that hearing protection alone cannot prevent workers from suffering preventable hearing loss.” Past solutions have not delivered meaningful results in significantly reducing noise induced hearing loss, but new hearing protection technologies are changing this by addressing the reasons why workers remove their hearing protection.
According to Mr. Miller, “New innovative technologies released in recent years go a long way towards solving this problem. Hearing protection devices already exist that can reduce background noise to safe levels, but still allow enough sound through to enable situational awareness and importantly enable all forms of communication by isolating and enhancing speech. This eliminates what research shows is the main reason workers remove hearing protection.
“It stands to reason, if you provide a hearing protector that allows people to hear while protecting their hearing, workers will be more inclined to wear them. For far too long hearing protectors have not delivered a functional solution for workers. It was like the industry had asked workers to wear eye protection that didn’t allow them to see; of course no one would wear them.
“New technology is now changing the effectiveness of hearing protection by delivering a functional alternative which is line with most personal protection equipment available in the market today.
“Before formally implementing any new regulations around noise reduction in the workplace, OSHA should evaluate the products and technologies available now and planned for release in the near future in the hearing protection industry. They offer a real solution at a significantly reduced cost for industry and go a long way towards achieving the goal of reducing occupational hearing loss.”