When working in an industrial environment, there is no such thing as being gentle with your hearing protection headset. They get dirty, dusty, grimy, and banged up for 8-12 hours or more a day. The ear cushions may get cracked, warped, or just plain dirty. Whatever the reason, these headsets often get replaced due to damage or lack of upkeep. So, how can you extend the life of your hearing protection headset?

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Hearing loss is typically a gradual process, and by the time its effects are noticeable, it is often too late to do anything about it. Hearing loss is more common than most people realize, according to the CDC, an average of 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace annually. Hearing loss can be caused by several different factors (age, illness, etc.), however, the most common of these is noise-induced hearing loss, especially among older adults.

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In the previous two blogs, we gave a brief introduction to the world of intrinsic safety and dug into the different intrinsic safety classifications and explosive protection classification systems. We unpacked all the technicalities behind intrinsically safe headsets and may have left you more overwhelmed with information. Well, today we will give an overview of intrinsic safety that will serve as a summarization of this complex topic and be a starting point for beginners.

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In the previous blog, we discussed how to know whether your industrial headsets are intrinsically safe, and we briefly introduced what it means to be intrinsically safe. As we learned, intrinsically safe products, or headsets, in this case, are meant to keep the user safe when in explosive or hazardous environments. In this blog, we will dive deeper into what these hazardous environments look like and how they are systematically classified into different classes, divisions, zones, etc.

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When working in the Oil & Gas or Mining industries, there are certain safety requirements that must be met to use equipment. These work environments are explosive atmospheres where products need to be something called “Intrinsically Safe” or IS for short. What does this mean, and are products such as two-way radios intrinsically safe because they have IS batteries?

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The oil and gas industry has turned towards digital communication technologies for more efficient communication, remote monitoring, and real-time asset management on oil rigs and oil fields. This move to digitization has offered accelerated productivity, improved operational efficiency, and provided superior protection to workers in the industry. How do oil and gas companies attain this? They need a communication solution that improves operation safety, reduces operational costs, and manages risk more effectively.

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When working in a hazardous plant or work environment, you often hear that you need to be aware of your surroundings or to be risk-averse. But what does this mean and how does one accomplish situational awareness? According to OSHA, situational awareness is “knowing what is going on all around you by having the ability to identify, process, comprehend, and respond to critical elements of information regarding the environment in which you are located.” Let’s break that down.

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Have you ever wondered what the loudest work environment is? According to a 2018 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting industries are among the most hazardous for high noise and hearing loss, with the Forestry and Logging industry as the most pervasive. Workers exposed to high noise in the Forestry and Logging industry have “a higher percentage of hearing loss (21%) than all other noise-exposed industries combined (19%)” (CDC, 2018).

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Those that are not privy to the world of hearing protection and smart earmuffs may never have heard of  the term “Digital Signal Processing.” Digital Signal Processing or DSP is only used by premium headset companies such as Sensear to create a safe experience in loud-noise work environments, and it is a crucial element of a good industrial headset.
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The ways in which workers communicate in different industries have drastically changed in the past year. Specifically, the food processing industry has made major changes in its communication abilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As more industries were shutting down due to stay-at-home orders, the food processing companies were still in full swing, being an essential and critical industry.

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