Let’s face it. Most safety headsets aren’t exactly treated gently. They get tossed around. They’re used 8, 10, 12 hours a day—or more. They get dirty, dusty and grimy. In some cases they might even be subject to extreme temperatures. They really take a beating, so it’s no wonder that they need to be replaced every so often.

So, How Can I Extend the Life of My Hearing Protection Device?

You don’t want to replace your safety headset too frequently, so a small amount of maintenance can go a long way. That being said, different scenarios require different types and levels of upkeep, but there are some general best practices for keep your safety headset in good condition.

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Over the years, many things have changed in industrial plant environments, resulting in changes in process,technology and communications. In a recent, 2015 manufacturing study/white paper conducted by Motorola, a number of specific—and interesting—statistics came out that pointed to this.

  • 32% of manufacturers currently rely on two-way radios as their primary method of plant communications;
  • 28% primarily use cell phones,
  • and 15% actually use internet/email;

Do you find it surprising that 1/3 of manufacturers are using two-way radios, while almost half of them are using cell phones and internet/email as their primary mode of communication. We really aren’t. Our engineering team has been hearing the demand for Bluetooth for sometime. But why? 

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According to OSHA, around 30 million American workers are exposed to hazardous levels of noise every year. This staggering number—and the OSHA standards that result from this data—mean that employers across the country are exploring ways in which to reduce and eliminate this hazard. 

In a recent article in the Safety and Health Magazine, there are a number of trends to keep an eye on this year, including education, the need for better fitting devices, and electronic hearing protection systems “that permit situational awareness”. 

In choosing an intrinsically safe headset for your safety program, it is critical that you provide education to workers using the device. An improper fit will result in reduced efficacy—or worse—misuse of the product entirely.

In an effort to help you choose an appropriate solution for your environment, we have compiled the top ten factors you should consider when selecting a Bluetooth headset.

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Since its creation by a group of engineers at Ericsson in 1994, Bluetooth technology has advanced significantly and been used in a myriad of communications devices. You might be using Bluetooth to connect your cell phone to an ear piece or to your car; you might use it to connect a mouse to laptop or to a tablet; or you might even be using it to monitor your sleep patterns using a Bluetooth enabled device.

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Most of us have used Bluetooth-connected devices in relatively quiet environments: an office, a car and/or at home. But what good is Bluetooth in an extremely noisy location? Can it even be an option?

What is Bluetooth anyway?
According to Wikipedia, Bluetooth® is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz[2]) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994,[3] it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

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The importance of hearing protection is of constant concern in environments of extreme noise exposure, which creates a challenge for those conducting and participating in plant tours. You’re proud of your plant, and you provide plant tours for many valuable business reasons. Communication is key during these tours because it is essential for the person taking the tour to be able to hear what you are saying to them; this ensures that listeners have the opportunity to make a well-informed decision about your company. However, many companies settle for either: a) reduced communication in the name of safety, or b) focus on communications with hearing safety being at risk. Sensear offers a revolutionary solution by implementing industry-leading technology so that both communication and safety are available in headset tour equipment.

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The freedom of movement a wireless headset gives you can be appealing; the battery dying on a jobsite in the middle of the workday may be somewhat less appealing. On the other hand, getting your headset cable caught in machinery or while trying to remove your personal protection equipment can get old fast, and become a potential danger.

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A Datacenter is not the typical work environments that health and safety professionals think about when it comes to hearing conservation. Dangerous noise levels are usually associated with heavy industrial environments such as those found in the Mining, Oil and Gas and Heavy Manufacturing Industries.

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Over the last 12 months we have seen a rapid increase in the requests for Bluetooth solutions from our customers. In fact 1 in 3 lead requests are specifically for noise cancelling bluetooth headsets to connect to a Bluetooth communication device.

So is this an indication of an industry undergoing rapid change? My answer is a cautious “yes”.

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