Mining presents many risks to all involved, from the financial and investment level, down to the frontline worker in the mines. In the public's mind, the risk of a mining shaft cave-in far outweighs the risks to physical health over time. When health risks are discussed, it has commonly only been about diseases such as black lung disease. However, according to the CDC, "One out of every four mine workers has a hearing problem. Even worse, four out of five mine workers have a hearing impairment when they reach mid-60s retirement age" (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Furthermore, 76% of miners are exposed to hazardous noise daily, which is more than any other major industry.

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The steel industry is one of the largest global industries in the world, employing over 6 million people worldwide. It is also one of the louder industrial sectors, with the average noise exposure ranging between 85-92 dB(A) from various equipment including compressors, machine grinders, jets, and hammers. The noise generated by hot and cold rolling mills alone can reach up to 110 dB(A).

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Industry leaders in every field value the importance of safety for employees and managers. This emphasis on safety is even more important in fields that include extremely high levels of occupational noise exposure, such as mining or oil and gas. However, in these extremely loud environments, traditional methods of hearing protection just don't provide enough noise reduction. That's where double hearing protection (DHP) comes in. 

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POV: You're scrolling through your favorite social media platform and suddenly, the app crashes. Or you're at the airport trying to catch a flight home, and unexpectedly, every flight is canceled. Most people probably aren't thinking about data centers when they experience these inconveniences. Data centers have a significant impact on many different facets of the economy, and when they go down, the world comes to a halt. Not only does data center downtime cost a lot (about $9,000/minute on average), but data center downtime can be quite damaging, sometimes even endangering lives. 

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“What?! What did you say?! I can’t hear you!” Is this a typical occurrence in your oil or gas operations? Industrial noise in an oil or gas operation is a concern for all employers, with noise levels reaching up to 110 dB(A) or beyond. Studies have shown that the prevalence of hearing loss among oil and gas workers can be as high as 27% depending on their work environment. Beyond the on-the-job safety concerns of noise and the impact it has on hearing loss, there are long-term health effects that go well beyond hearing impairment. The CDC reports that hearing loss is the third most chronic physical condition in the US, outpacing diabetes and cancer. Studies have also shown a substantial increase in an individual’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer's or dementia as the severity of hearing damage increases.

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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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