SMITHFIELD, RI -- Howard Leight introduces QuietDose -- a personal dosimeter that measures and records a worker's actual in-ear exposure to noise over an entire work shift. The introduction is a major advance towards stopping the progression of occupational hearing loss and ensuring employer compliance with hearing safety regulations.
"Hearing Conservation Programs are only as good the data they're based upon," says Renee Bessette, COHC, Marketing Manager, Howard Leight/Sperian Hearing Protection LLC. "Existing noise measurement devices only sample ambient sound. This shortcoming forces employers to estimate workplace noise levels and base hearing protection on potentially faulty conclusions which can end up wasting money, risking regulatory violations, and endangering employee hearing.
"In contrast, our QuietDose personal dosimeter measures the actual noise levels reaching a worker's eardrums, in real-time, over an entire work day. QuietDose provides safety managers with an unprecedented level of personalized data to create the most customized, and effective Hearing Conservation Programs for each worker. The result? Fewer documented cases of occupational hearing loss for employees, and fewer claims and lower compensation costs for employers. Supervisors can also use the personalized data to improve productivity by better managing worker deployment in areas of extreme noise."
Workers themselves can personally monitor and control their noise exposure in real-time. Flashing alerts indicate when noise exposure reaches or exceeds prescribed limits.
"If an eartip has not been inserted properly, QuietDose will alert the worker that he is not receiving adequate protection," says Bessette. "If a worker removes his eartips for any length of time, QuietDose will assess that additional exposure and alert him should he exceed his allowable dose. QuietDose can help halt the progression of occupational hearing loss," she said."
The QuietDose system consists of a small Exposure Smart Protector (ESP) Dosimeter that's worn by employees in a shirt pocket or on the back of a hardhat; protective eartips or an earmuff with integrated microphones that record real-time in-ear noise levels; and a connecting harness. An infrared reader enables safety managers to retrieve data from the ESP Dosimeter at the end of each shift or work week and analyze the results on a personal computer.
QuietDose enables safety managers and employees to:
- Track, document, and address the potential of occupational hearing loss and Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in real time
- Select appropriate hearing protectors for each employee's noise environment
- Train and monitor employees as to the correct use of earplugs or earmuffs
- Streamline worker deployment by more accurately matching shift hours with proper protection
- Identify potential opportunities to eliminate dual protection (the use of earplugs and earmuffs)
- Compare the benefit of monitoring employee noise dose versus making capital investments in engineering controls to reduce specific noise levels
QuietDose is immediately available in the United States and Canada. For more information click here.
While the language of OSHA’s Occupational Noise Standard might appear convoluted, its dictates are rather straightforward, according to Renee Bessette, a certified occupational hearing...
The Howard Leight 2008 Product Selection Guide, made available by Sperian Hearing Protection, covers its range of earplugs, earmuffs and accessories. The guide contains Hearing Conservation...
Noise hazards are not exclusive to the workplace.
Audiology and Regulatory Affairs Manager Hearing Safety Group, Bacou-Dalloz