08.25.09

Howard Leight Participates in MSHA-Yale Field Study of Technologies to Prevent Hearing Loss Among Mine Inspectors

SMITHFIELD, RHODE ISLAND, USA—August 25, 2009—Howard Leight®/Sperian Hearing Protection, LLC, the leading global provider of passive and intelligent hearing protection solutions, is participating in a field study conducted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in collaboration with Yale University that is evaluating the effectiveness of new technologies to prevent occupational noise-induced hearing loss among mine inspectors.
 
“Based on the data, mine workers and inspectors are especially at risk for noise-induced hearing loss,” said Theresa Y. Schulz PhD., Lt. Col. USAF (retired), Hearing Conservation Manager, Howard Leight/Sperian Hearing Protection, LLC, and former team leader of the Hearing Loss Prevention Branch at The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
 
By age 50, about 90% of coal miners, and 49% of metal/nonmetal miners, have a hearing impairment, versus 10% of non-miners, according to NIOSH.
 
The MSHA study now underway is evaluating a variety of new hearing loss prevention technologies. The research is being conducted in the field, with on-the-job MSHA mine inspectors, in cooperation with the Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program of the Yale University School of Medicine.
 
It’s expected that a report on the findings will be produced for MHSA by year-end.
 
Howard Leight is providing three advanced technologies for evaluation in the study:
-- QuietDose™ personal dosimeter that measures and records a worker’s actual in-ear exposure to noise over an entire work shift
-- VeriPRO® technology that measures real-world attenuation of unmodified earplugs and can be used to improve individual employee training and enhance the overall effectiveness of Hearing Conservation Programs
-- Electronic earmuffs that manage impulse/impact noise, limiting ambient sound amplification to safe levels, revert to passive protection when noise reaches unsafe levels
 
Additional technologies, provided by other manufacturers, for the study include custom-fit earplug technology, and traditional foam earplugs.
 
“Miners and mine inspectors work in extremely difficult conditions. The goal is to better protect MHSA inspectors, and we at Howard Leight are extremely proud to participate in this crucial initiative to evaluate the application of the latest technologies to the very real problem of occupational hearing loss among mine inspectors,” said Dr. Schulz.
 
About Howard Leight
Howard Leight®/Sperian Hearing Protection, LLC is a leading global provider of passive and intelligent hearing protection solutions, and the founder of the HearForever™ initiative. For over 30 years, Howard Leight has pursued the prevention of occupational hearing loss through innovation in hearing protection design, technology, performance and comfort, and the promotion of progressive Hearing Conservation Programs. Leading solutions include the highest attenuating Max® single-use earplug; patented Air Flow Control™ technology for optimal earmuff attenuation; QuietDose™ personal in-ear dosimetry; and the industry-changing VeriPRO® earplug fit testing system. Visit: www.howardleight.com.


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