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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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 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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Workplace hearing protection programs typically focus on individuals with normal hearing. But what about workers who already suffer from some level of hearing loss?  Even in quiet environments, workers with hearing loss face a number of challenges, including difficulty communicating with colleagues and problems with differentiating important sounds from background noises.

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Sensear – Year in Review

As a global leader in developing and manufacturing best-in-class digital communications headsets, Sensear continues to be proactive to the needs of our customers, both existing and prospective. 

To provide the quality and effective protection and communications functionality we’re committed to, we remain focused on our SENS® (speech enhancement, noise suppression) Technology and our “three circles” approach to our product offerings:

  • Hearing Protection – limiting output in the ear to 82dB

  • Total Communication – Face-to-face, two-way radio, Bluetooth® cell phones, and short-range. Integration with a variety of communications devices with Sensear headsets.

  • Situational awareness – 360° directional awareness of your surroundings
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"Exposure to silica can be deadly and limiting that exposure is essential. Every year, many exposed workers not only lose their ability to work but also breathe. This proposal is expected to prevent thousands of deaths from silicosis – an incurable and progressive disease – as well as lung cancer, other respiratory diseases, and kidney disease. Workers affected by silica are fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers lost to entirely preventable illnesses. We're looking forward to public comment on the proposal."

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  Download Sensear's 7 Degrees of Hearing Loss Infographic