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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There have been many advancements in hearing protection and communication technology, and probably the most well-known is active noise-canceling technology. As pointed out here, active noise-cancellation “cancels” or blocks out almost all noise coming into the headset. This causes an issue in many work environments where workers need situational awareness to prevent workplace accidents and keep them aware of potential hazards. The alternative to active noise-cancellation is noise suppression. What are the differences between these two technologies?

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The best Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) are ones that employees want to wear and have all of the features necessary for employees to get the job done safely and efficiently. Another factor to consider is the fit and the actual hearing protection level that is achieved from the HPD on a particular person. What do you do when everyone has different sized heads and not all hearing protection fits the same? What is the solution to having the right size headset with the right amount of hearing protection for each employee?

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When working in hazardous or high-noise-level conditions, it is important to have the right hearing protection. In many cases, this indicates wearing a headset or earmuff hearing protection device (HPD) with active noise-canceling technology. This analog technology functions by detecting the sound coming into the headset generates signals that are out-of-phase with the offending signals and then cancels them out. This allows any sounds generated within the headset to be understood more clearly (music, radio communications, etc.). Unfortunately, these active noise-canceling headsets have attributes that are problematic.

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The American iron and steel industry is an integral part of the U.S. economy, attributing more than $520 billion USD. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Steel is the material of choice for many elements of manufacturing, construction, transportation, and various consumer products” (Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy). The reason steel is often the number one choice of metal for manufacturers is because of its intrinsic durability and recyclability, making it a critical industry for production.

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