At Shaw Industries, Personalized Ear Plug Fit Testing Overcomes Challenges to Worker Hearing Protection – New Case Study
SMITHFIELD, RHODE ISLAND – In late 2009, Kenny Dillard, faced seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges to the Hearing Conservation program at a Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility of Shaw Industries Group, Inc., the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider.
Although the company invests in engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise levels, and continues to look for ways to decrease the exposure in the work environment, hearing protection is still needed for many workers. Meanwhile, the local climate, which generates both extreme heat and humidity, often makes the wearing of earmuffs uncomfortable.
The solution, Dillard decided, was to “get personal" with an innovative program that integrates the Howard Leight® VeriPRO® ear plug fit testing system with one-on-one training, resulting in personal validation and self-efficacy.
At Shaw, the new VeriPRO ear plug fit testing program “represents an on-going investment in workers and their personal safety” that resulted in what Dillard believes has evolved into a true one-on-one Hearing Conservation Program. “To get where we are now meant that we had to change our whole mindset — to realize that it’s all about each and every individual — and what fits them well,” he said.
The program proved to be an overwhelming success, earning Shaw the 2011 Safe-in-Sound Award for Best Practices in Hearing Conservation, presented by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).
The program is also the subject of a new case study which traces Dillard's progress through each stage of the program's development and implementation, from "Doubling Up for Safety" to "Ear Plug Fit Testing and Verification" to "Ear Plug Selection, Protection, and Training" to "Personal Validation" – providing a detailed blueprint for safety, industrial hygiene, plant managers, and others to emulate at their own facilities.
Download the free case study at www.hearforever.org/shaw.
About Howard Leight
Under the Howard Leight brand, Honeywell Safety Products is a leading global provider of passive and intelligent hearing protection solutions, and is the founder of the HearForever™ initiative. For over 30 years, the company and its predecessors have pursued the prevention of occupational noise-induced 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. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HowardLeight.
Honeywell International (http://www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit http://www.honeywellnow.com.
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