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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“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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A noisy environment is one of the main stress triggers for employees and leads to reduced productivity. In high-noise environments, sounds coming from machinery or equipment produce high or extreme noise levels that can adversely affect communication between workers. Common practices like shouting at others or asking them to talk loudly are barely effective. If employees cannot alert each other, accidents can occur and cause injuries. As OSHA requires workers to wear hearing protection in environments where noise reaches or exceeds 85 dB(A), workers run into issues by removing their hearing protection when they need to communicate with one another. Most employees have a critical requirement to communicate with colleagues and traditional hearing protection headsets restrict the workers' ability to communicate. Therefore, workers need a solution that provides the correct level of hearing protection, while allowing employees to communicate and have situational awareness. 

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Workers employed in the recycling and solid waste industry face many hazards that can lead to serious injury, illness, or death because of their daily exposure to harmful substances and the use of hazardous machinery.

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Occupational noise is a notable contributor to hearing loss. Specifically, the hearing loss claims made by workers in the manufacturing sector are high, accounting for 14% of hearing loss worldwide. Hearing protection devices (HPDs) are highly recommended to minimize noise exposure and prevent hearing loss in the manufacturing industry. Therefore, Sensear is here to provide some of the best solutions for noise reduction and noise cancelation for manufacturing plants.

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Wrong. Based on research found by us at Sensear, the average noise level around the server areas of a data center can be up to 92 dB(A), and within the server racks, noise levels can reach up to 96 dB(A). To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to listening to a motorcycle up close all day, for 48-52 hours a week (or more if there aren’t enough workers). How long and how loud can someone listen to sound without risking hearing damage? OSHA and NIOSH break this down in Figure 1 below.

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It’s been over a year and a half now since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we have made it through much turmoil, COVID-19 still looms over our lives. Every aspect of life has been touched by the virus, which has led us to have new standards for the way we interact with one another. Specifically, the COVID-19 virus has made communication in high-noise environments a laborious task, as people naturally need to be closer to one another to hear each other and social distance rules prevent this. So, what should you do if your high-noise work environment forces you and your colleagues to shout to communicate?

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When it comes to hearing protection for loud workplaces, business owners want to save money and purchase the cheapest option available to them. This cheaper option often comes in the form of disposable earplugs, regardless of the environmental concerns that are often associated with them. They purchase these disposable earplugs because they seem to be the most cost-effective hearing protection solution, but what if they are wrong? What if we were to say that in the long run, disposable earplugs cost hundreds of dollars more than investing in more permanent forms of hearing protection? Not only would the alternative save business owners in monetary costs, but also in productivity, employee safety, and overall business success. Let me explain how.

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Hearing conservation programs are typically designed to protect workers with normal hearing, but they must also consider those workers that have already been impacted by hearing loss or impairment. Many workers in high-noise environments have already experienced varying degrees of hearing loss and may have special needs. What can be done to keep them protected, but still allow them to continue with their daily activities? These workers face numerous challenges, even in quiet environments, including difficulty communicating with colleagues and problems differentiating important sounds or alarms from other background noises. Some workers may even face differing levels of tinnitus or ringing in the ears.

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