13 May 2019

Hearing Loss, What Impact Does It Have On Your Wellbeing?

How does hearing loss affect us?

It is well documented that people with hearing loss are more likely to experience emotional distress and loneliness. The condition is said to double the risk of developing depression and  sufferers are twice as likely to develop dementia.

Hearing loss can have a highly detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, both physically and emotionally. Sufferers are less likely to participate in social activities and it may have a negative impact on their working lives. This often leads to a loss of confidence, spending less time with friends/family and more time feeling isolated.

The scale of hearing loss in Britain

Hearing loss affects an estimated 17% of adults in the UK. This equates to 11 million people so 1 in 6 of of this country’s population. This figure is projected to climb to 1 in 5 by 2025. Forty percent of people aged 50+ are affected and 1 in 10 of us suffer from Tinnitus.

The main causes of hearing loss

There are several different reasons why people might lose their hearing. Sudden hearing loss in one ear may be down to earwax, an ear infection or a perforated eardrum. Sudden hearing loss in both ears may be due to damage from a very loud noise, or taking certain medication. Gradual loss of hearing in one ear may be due to fluid inside the ear, bone growth (Otosclerosis) or a build up of skin cells (Cholesteatoma). Gradual loss of hearing in both ears is usually caused by ageing or exposure to loud / persistent noise over a period of time.

Preventing hearing loss

There are a number of things individuals can do to protect our hearing such as not exposing ourselves to excessive noise in our social lives, not inserting things into our ears (fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool etc.) However, as business owners providing ear protection for workers exposed to consistent levels of industrial noise is a must.

Disposable ear plugs, ear defenders and moulded ear plugs are the main types of hearing protection available.

ProtectHear Moulded Ear Plugs

ProtectHear® is a custom moulded ear plug that does not over protect or under protect the ears because the passive, acoustic filter allows safe noise to pass through. This means when wearing these uniquely moulded ear plugs your workers can still have conversations with colleagues and hear warning sounds, without jeopardising their ear protection. ProtectHear®  moulded ear plugs have a 5-year lifespan, making them incredibly cost-effective.  There are options available to integrate factory radio communications with them too.

ProtectHear® offer a ‘Try Before you Buy’ for up to 10 people for an 8-week trial period.

Call us week days between 9am and 5.30pm on 01507 604322.  Or contact us online if you would like to book an appointment or a have discussion about ProtectHear® moulded ear plugs.

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12 Apr 2019

Vented vs Solid Ear plugs

Vented vs Solid Ear plugs

Depending on your unique working environment, different levels of protection may be required in different working situations. With ProtectHear® you have a choice of Vented vs Solid ear plugs, and both are suitable for different reasons.

Vented ear plugs

ProtectHear® vented ear plugs are a 29 SNR (Single Number Rating) product. This attenuates noises to a safe level, allowing users to hear warnings, alarms and conversation. Operatives can work safely and effectively whilst not being over protected nor under protected. With the vented system wearers can connect communication accessories to the ear plugs, so they can communicate via phone/radio. Vented ear plugs are seen as the best solution when needing to hear colleagues/warnings. Hence they are great for teams working together. ProtectHear® 29 SNR ear plugs are ideal for working environments such as Rail, Engineering and Steel.

Solid ear plugs

ProtectHear® solid ear plugs are a 31 SNR (Single Number Rating) product. They block out more of the external noise in the industrial environment. This product is used in higher noise environments to give better protection, lessening the noise your workers can hear. The performance level of solid ear plugs is similar to the protection your workers would get from a pair of ear defenders. Solid ear plugs are used for environments with particularly high noise levels, such as ship engine compartments and compressor houses.

Let’s get Technical

For our vented ear plugs ProtectHear® use a design which allows air to pass through the ear plugs carrying the external noise as sound waves, before entering a passive acoustic filter. Whereas solid ear plugs have no vent or filter, so do not allow air or external noise to pass through the ear plug.

Both products are CE Marked to EN 352-2:1993 and tested by Salford University School of Acoustics. You can find more detailed technical information here, regarding the difference in attenuation ratings.

Communicate Safely

You can communicate with ProtectHear® vented ear plugs through conversation with colleagues whilst in a noisy environment. There is no need to take out your hearing protection and be exposed to the noise. As well as conversations with ProtectHear® vented you can communicate through radios/phones, ProtectHear® supply a wide range of communication accessories called SpeakHear®.

ProtectHear® solid has no vent giving you extra protection but communication accessories cannot be connected.

What are the advantages?

Whether you choose vented or solid, ProtectHear® ear plugs give users maximum comfort, with a great fit and allows the ears to ‘breathe’. ProtectHear® ear plugs can be worn with all types of Personal Protective Equipment such as hard hats and safety glasses. With a 5 year lifespan there are significant cost savings to be had compared to disposable earplugs, calculate your savings on our cost savings calculator here.

Take our Trial

For any Health & Safety Executive considering vented vs solid ear plugs, don’t Forget if you’re unsure which option would suit for your factory environment best, you can trial ProtectHear®.  The trial is for an 8 week period within your organisation’s unique environment, and you can include up to 10 people to participate.

Contact us now to find out more about ProtectHear® products/services. You can book your no obligation ‘Try Before you Buy’ trial today.

Read our full terms and conditions here.

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20 Dec 2018

Brand New Ear Plug Fitting Video

Brand New Ear Plug Fitting Video

Fitting your ear protection correctly is very important to prevent noise induced hearing loss.  You can have the best hearing protection available, but if users don’t fit them properly there is little point wearing them. For this reason we have developed a brand new animated ear plug fitting video.

The new video shows ProtectHear® users how to fit ProtectHear® custom moulded ear plugs properly.

The video is designed to help people who are new to the product, better understand the fitting and removal process. The cleaning process is also shown, in the video. It clearly explains how users can maintain their ear plugs to the highest possible standard.

This video expands on an earlier video we released re ‘The ProtectHear® Process’, which shows how the ear impressions are taken and how the ear plug moulds are manufactured.

Both of these videos can be found on the ProtectHear® YouTube Channel.

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24 Aug 2018

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can have either a temporary or permanent effect on individuals. The main causes of hearing loss are excessive noise, aging or injury. Over 360 million of the world’s population have disabling hearing loss. It can also affect in Adults balance, mental health and risk of dementia. There are 4 types of hearing loss which are Auditory Processing Disorders, Conductive Hearing Loss, Sensorineural and mixed.

The signs to watch out for could be difficulty in hearing people clearly, listening to music at a high volume, having to focus on what people are saying and repetition of conversations. Using ear protection in a work or a social situation would be a solution to protecting your hearing from further damage. Also not inserting anything into the ears as this could make the loss worse. If any of the discussed applies then it is recommended to see a GP to see what they can advise.

If hearing aids aren’t appropriate then implants can be inserted into the ear. Alternatively if the hearing loss is too severe then sign language or lip reading may need adopting.

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30 Apr 2018

The Health and Safety Event 2018

The Health and Safety Event 2018

The Health and Safety Event was held once again at the NEC in Birmingham, this was the fourth time ProtectHear® has exhibited. The show entails 48 Conference and Seminar sessions, 45 engaging speakers, with 200 Exhibition stands and a footfall of over 6000 visitors. The event was organised by Western Business Exhibitions.

ProtectHear® was showcasing the products/services of the company to visitors with samples, communication accessories and brochures. Some companies are not aware of the great benefits in both protection and cost savings on ProtectHear® ear plugs. Our cost saving calculator helped people realise how much you can save with custom ear plugs over a 5 year period. Also illustrating this we had the disposable obelisk, which shows how many disposable ear plugs you’re using over the 5 year period, which is concerning considering the landfill.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss affects many people in the UK, getting the guaranteed protection is so important, especially as the real word use and performance of hearing protection report from the HSE shows that 60% of users don’t actually fit disposables correctly! It is also important to be protected but not over protected; this is why our ear plug has a vented system, allowing communication between employees, but ensuring you’re not over protected.

Our ‘Try Before you Buy’ is offered to companies to give them a chance of trialling up to 10 pairs over an 8 week period, with no obligation to buy. We have great confidence in our product and can even trial communication accessories alongside. This is supported by a toolbox talk.

ProtectHear® will be attending the Health and Safety North in October; you can keep updated on the Health and Safety Events website.

If you would like updates on the event day at the NEC use the #HSENEC or follow @HandS_Events on Twitter.

Check out the cost savings calculator.

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12 Jan 2018

Ear plugs in Rail

Ear plugs in Rail

Ear plugs are used in the rail sector to protect employees from harmful noises, yet still allowing users to hear conversation, warnings, signals and trains. Especially when you’re on the track, awareness of your surroundings is very important. The ear plugs are kept in throughout the working day so there is no need to remove them, providing comfort and compatibility with any other PPE.

We have been supplying the rail industry for 10 years now for companies such as Network Rail, GWR, Southern Railway and Chiltern Railways. We are the only approved supplier of custom ear plugs to Network Rail. This involved a series of product testing to check the standard. Starting off with an original trial and then turning into an approved supplier.

SpeakHear® communication systems can be hard wired from a radio to ProtectHear® ear plugs.

With our ‘Try before you Buy’ we can offer businesses our ear plugs and communication accessories on trial for 1-10 people. This includes the initial visit, toolbox talks and support throughout the trial period of 8 weeks. We had a feature in 2016 in The Rail Professional Yearbook.

Contact us for more details.

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