What is Smart Hearing Solution?
By Alexandra Serban
July 06, 2020
Nowadays, phones, appliances, and buildings have become intelligent and autonomous. In industrial safety, “smart protective equipment” is gaining momentum, as companies start to see the benefits of connected safety solutions. Smart helmets embedded with sensors improve situational awareness for industrial workers and firefighters, for instance.
Connected hearing protection devices have the brains to prevent hearing loss before it happens.
Prevention is smart
Exposure to excessive noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. A worker listening to loud sounds over extended periods may unknowingly suffer from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), an incurable, yet preventable impairment.
Exposure to unsafe noise levels on job sites adversely affects millions of workers. That accounts for 16% to 24% of all hearing loss cases reported worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The social impact of NIHL includes depression, embarrassment and communication difficulties. But occupational NIHL has been associated with increased risk of injury. Not being able to localize sounds can prove life-threatening for workers and emergency responders, as they lose their ability to pick up audio cues from their surroundings.
Therefore, prevention of NIHL is essential for worker health and safety. But bear in mind, completely silencing the noise is not the best strategy. Attenuating sound creates a feeling of isolation and impairs situational awareness, leaving workers vulnerable to occupational hazards such as flying objects or being hit by heavy machinery. And if they remove their HPDs, they risk permanent hearing loss.
See what they are hearing
Prevention starts with identifying and continuously monitoring risks before they become significant issues. A “smart” hearing solution uses the power of technology and data to continuously monitor and fend off hearing loss.
Honeywell’s new VeriShield™ Smart Hearing Solution is a continuous personal noise exposure monitoring solution that offers instant visibility of individual workers’ actual noise exposure and protection levels.
The VeriShield Smart Hearing Solution includes:
1. A protective headset that collects the data.
2. A mobile app wirelessly linked to Honeywell VSHS Headsets where supervisors and workers themselves can view noise exposure data — including noise peaks, patterns and unusual occurrences.
3. A web portal that analyses the data. The Safety Suite Web portal can automatically generate records that help companies comply with regulations and increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of administrative activities.
Using this solution, safety managers can:
- See if headsets are worn correctly. A fit testing function notifies the user and the safety manager if the device is not properly fitted or worn correctly.
- Access protected and/or unprotected noise-exposure data remotely, at any time.
- Alert workers on their daily noise limits.
- Reduce background noise to safe levels.
- Perform high-exposure root cause analyses.
- Develop a personalized approach to worker safety.
- Reduce costs by simplifying reporting procedures.
By taking the guesswork out of worker noise exposure, safety managers make better decisions and more efficient protection strategies.
To improve situational awareness, VSHS headsets provide workers with a hear-through feature that allows them to communicate clearly and efficiently and to hear critical conversations and alarms.
Honeywell’s new VeriShield™ range of hearing protection devices offers a variety of wear styles to ensure a comfortable fit for each individual worker.