How One Facility Integrated Custom Hearing Protection for Their Noisy Work Areas

posted by Nick Morrill

Today I’m sharing a story of one of our customers, who, like many companies we’ve worked with needed to update and upgrade their hearing protection program. They’re also unique, in both their size (hundreds of employees) and particularly high noise levels.

Prior to engaging with CavCom, this customer was experiencing issues related to hearing protection. As a result of a high rate of Standard Threshold Shifts on annual audiograms, they were worried that employees’ hearing was at risk. The last thing they wanted was for people to be losing their hearing at work and knew they needed a solution. 

photo of an ear with a poor insertion of a foam ear protectorThis company provided multiple options of disposable earplugs but were concerned they were ineffective, and costly at the rate they were being used. When you have hundreds of employees using two to three pairs of disposable earplugs every day, those costs add up. An expensive solution that didn’t deliver results. Something needed to change. 

 

It All Started with a Demo

In 2018, the customer invited CavCom onsite to provide a demonstration of our solutions. From our previous discussions and onsite experience, it was clear they could benefit from our custom hearing protection products. The best approach was to:

  1. Choose 20+ experienced “beta testers” who would provide detailed feedback
  2. Make them each a pair of custom earplugs
  3. Ask them to use the product for 90 days

After their 90-day trial, feedback from the test group was phenomenal.

Employees Were Protected

These employees work in environments where noise levels regularly reach 100 dBA or custom hearing protectorsmore. EarzONⓇ custom hearing protectors have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 26. Unlike disposable foam or pre-molded flange-style earplugs, customs are designed and manufactured to fit each individual’s ears perfectly. One of the greatest obstacles to hearing protection is ensuring employees are always wearing it properly. With EarzON® custom hearing protection there is essentially only one way to wear the protector – the correct way. Through Individual Fit Testing, EarzON® custom earplugs have proven to consistently meet or even exceed noise reduction targets. 

Employees Were Comfortable

custom fitting demonstrationEach custom hearing protector begins with an impression of the individual’s ears, which is used to digitally manufacture the earplug. Workers who were used to wearing “one-size-fits-most" hearing protection immediately felt the difference with EarzON®. Plus, for those required to utilize double hearing protection, the low-profile design was critical in ensuring both sets of protectors could be utilized without discomfort.

Employees Were Invested

While it might not show up on a spreadsheet, there was a marked difference in how employees felt about custom hearing protection. The company’s beta testers praised management for going the extra step to provide them with hearing protectors that were made just for them (including having their name laser-engraved on each earplug). The personalization and customized fit resulted in greater employee buy-in and compliance. This company vocalized the overall excitement and gratitude shown by employees. 

Benefits for the Company

In addition to the excellent response from the trial group, this company recognized that custom hearing protectors would also provide long-term value – significant savings in cost over disposable hearing protectors. And substantial reduction in waste – no more disposable earplugs littering the work site. 

Facility-Wide Implementation

custom hearing protectorsWith great feedback from the test group, the facility initially elected to outfit everyone under their Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) with their own pair of custom EarzON®. Not long after they opened up the offer to everybody within the facility, including those outside of the HCP. Now the customer is developing a program to offer custom hearing protection to employees at all locations. 

Through every step of the way, we’ve helped them understand the product, navigate the process, answer their questions, and support their needs. Working with CavCom has provided the products and results they need to preserve hearing and quality of life. To this day, we’ve become one of their most trusted partners, helping them initiate and implement real change within their company. Now their employees can preserve their hearing long after their workday is over. 

 

Find out how much money and waste you will save at your site. We’ll also be happy to talk about a trial for your workforce to feel and hear the difference with EarzON® custom hearing protection. 

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