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Combat Workplace Noise Pollution to Help Prevent Hearing Loss

November 09, 2015, Posted in News

Yikes! Hearing loss is the third-leading major U.S. public health issue.

By Mary Padron, published on Sep 01, 2015

According to John Hopkins Medicine and the Hearing Loss Association of America, "Hearing loss is the third leading major public health issue, affecting 48 million Americans, or 20% of the adult population." Arthritis leads the way, followed by heart disease. Sixty percent of people with hearing loss are either in the workforce or in educational settings.

One of the leading culprits of hearing loss is workplace noise pollution, which can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Over-exposure to high-noise environments occurs at factories, airports, construction sites, NASCAR races, rock concerts, and on our highways. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, industries that include mining, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and the military run the highest risk of NIHL noise pollution. Over-exposure to noise has serious consequences to our well-being and hearing, including auditory and non-auditory effects:

  • temporary, mild, or permanent hearing loss
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • physical and mental stress
  • reduced concentration and communication
  • loss of productivity
  • increased probability of work-related accidents and injury
  • heart palpitations
  • aggressive behavior
  • exhaustion
What is NIHL?

According to the World Health Organization, noise-induced hearing loss "is the most common, permanent, and preventable occupational injury in the world."

Noise-induced hearing loss may happen suddenly from an explosive type of blast or gradually over time as a worker is continuously exposed to noise above 85 dB without wearing proper hearing protection. Unfortunately, NIHL is an invisible pollutant, so it is often relegated to the back burner while eye protection and high-visibility protection take the job site spotlight. We can't see, taste, touch, or smell noise, and there is no obvious wound or blood—but every workplace should have a hearing conversation program, especially because hearing loss affects millions of workers.

What if you had to continuously listen to your blow dryer or to a juice blender (approximately 80 to 95 dB) for eight hours every day? Surely you would cringe at the thought and become quite agitated. Unfortunately, in numerous industrial settings, millions of American workers are assaulted and exposed to dangerous levels of noise (85 dB or above) every single workday.

How to Combat Workplace NIHL

Three weapons in your hearing loss prevention toolbox are (1) education, (2) "buy quiet" practices, and (3) the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs).

Education and training

Educate your workers and safety specialists about hearing loss by distributing informational brochures, by placing posters and caution signs in key traffic areas, and through annual training programs, which are required by OSHA "whenever employee noise exposures are at or above an eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 dBA or, equivalently, a dose of 50 percent, which is considered the action level."

"Buy Quiet” practices and other controls

When purchasing new equipment, nip noise in the bud by specifying the acceptable sound output for any new machinery. Be adamant about your sound requirements with your buyers and purchasing agents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a national "Buy Quiet" purchasing movement is in place to get the military and corporations to buy "ear friendly" machinery.  Hopefully, as technology improves, this "Buy Quiet" trend will gain greater momentum.

To deal with existing high-noise equipment and environments, consider engineering controls such as silencers, mufflers, and specially constructed acoustic walls to help remove sound. Administrative controls, such as moving workers to a safe area or limiting their time around the sound annoyance, is also effective in reducing noise exposure.

Hearing protection devices

When engineering and administrative controls are not successful in reducing noise exposure, hearing protection devices must be used. OSHA requires that employees be offered a variety of hearing protection devices, including ear muffs and ear plugs.

Just as ears, ear canals, and heads come in many different shapes and sizes, so do the many hearing protection devices available in the marketplace today. There are three primary types of noise related to HPD use: constant, intermittent, and impact/impulse. Constant noise requires single-use hearing protection, multi-use banded hearing protection, or ear muffs. Intermittent noise requires banded hearing protection or ear muffs. Impact or impulse noises are the most severe and require the highest passive noise reducers, double plugging, or electronic/active HPDs.

Which HPD Is Right For Your Safety Program?

Ear plugs

In the 1970s, NASA developed memory foam to assist astronauts with overwhelming G forces. This material was later adapted to make single-use ear plugs because of its slow recovery capabilities and softness. When choosing foam ear plugs, make sure the plugs are self-adjustable, non-irritating, comfortable, and offer the most protection, with NRRs of up to 33dB. Bullet, barrel, bell, and winged shapes exist to fit a large variety of ear canal shapes and sizes. Foam ear plugs are available in fluorescent safety focused colors to aid in compliance verification and many of them are made in the USA.

They come corded and uncorded, plus a variety of packaging options exist, including individually wrapped plugs or bulk options to be placed in dispensers for easy access in high-traffic, high-noise areas. Disposable foam plugs are ideal for big companies with lots of workers who go through large quantities of plugs quickly.

In addition to disposable foam ear plugs, reusable, custom molded, and baffle type ear plugs are available. Reusable plugs are made of silicone, polyvinyl, and other types of rubber. These non-porous plugs can be cleaned with warm water and soap. Custom molded plugs provide a super comfortable and personalized fit and are a favorite among workers, hunters, and musicians because of the proper fit. Baffle plugs have a sound-activated baffle/valve inside that will close when exposed to an impulse noise such as a gunshot. Baffle plugs feature technology that allows normal conversation when no impulse noise is present, allowing workers to hear commands and conversation.

Banded hearing protection and ear muffs

When hearing protection is intermittent, banded hearing protection can be a good lightweight alternative to ear muffs. Banded hearing protection is easy to remove and is designed to hang conveniently around the neck, which means the HPD is always within reach, doesn't touch dirty or oily surfaces, and allows for quick communication.

Ear muffs can be either passive or active. Both are easy to fit properly and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to fit a wide range of users. NRRs also vary greatly and can be as low as 17dB or as high as 30dB. Ear muffs can be worn over the head, behind the ear, under the chin, and as a hard hat attachment. They are available with lots of value-added features, such as gel-pad cushions on the cups, padded headbands, compact folding headbands, and multi-position headbands.  Because ear muffs are very visible, they make it easy for safety officers to check for compliance.

Active ear muffs use electronic circuitry to cut or compress harmful impulse noises above 85 dB down to a safe level. Ear muffs that feature compression technology will reduce impulse noise to a safe level of 82dB while still allowing you to communicate. Ear muffs that use cutting technology will cut out all impulse noise completely. Some ear muffs also feature microphones that enhance/amplify hearing. Although the recommended use for active ear muffs is with the electronics on, they can be switched off. When the electronics are turned off, the active ear muff then functions as a passive ear muff and can be used in any environment. When the electronics are on, active ear muffs should be used only to protect against impulse noise.

When selecting hearing protection for your safety program always consider the type of noise—continuous or intermittent—the long-term cost, and worker preference. Worker compliance is one of the primary factors when considering the effectiveness of any HPD.

Why Hearing Protection Matters

All of our five senses—sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing—are a blessing, and the sense of hearing is very important among the five. Think about all the precious moments you would miss if you couldn't hear. You couldn't hear "I love you" from your spouse or grandchild. You couldn't hear the music that makes you want to get up and dance. You couldn't hear the clink of crystal or the special words to loved ones when making a toast. When you can't hear properly, your performance at work declines and your impairment might even cause more accidents and injuries to occur. So protect hearing every day with quality hearing protection, not just because OSHA requirements and other federal regulations demand it. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Work hard. Stay safe.

About the Author

Mary Padron is a MarCom and Event Specialist at Radians®, a leading manufacturer of high-performance hearing protection devices. For more information about Radians' comprehensive line of quality PPE, visit www.Radians.com or call 1-877-RADIANS.


Source: http://www.oshonline.com


Radians for Youth and Women

March 18, 2013, Posted in News

Story from http://www.ladiesincamo.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 by huntingmotherearth

I have been using Radians products for more years than I am going to admit to in writing.  Many years ago I was suffering from an inner ear problem, and I couldn’t be around shooting without being in pain. My husband bought me my first set of electronic earmuffs at that time, they were my first Radians.  I was so impressed, I was like a little kid running around telling everyone who would listen how thrilled I was with my hearing protection.  Many of the shooters I was bragging to, had never had a pair of electronic earmuffs, and couldn’t understand how you could hear better, but not blow out your eardrums when shooting, while wearing them.  But, they all went out and bought the same earmuffs I had, after using mine for just a little while!  They became believers!

Now we return to the present, and I am still running around telling everyone how great they are!  I still have my original pair, and they still work great, but I have added to that one over the years.

The Hunter’s Ears model has to be the best all around model I have used.  They feature the dual independently controlled microphones which enhance and amplify sound, while they automatically compress the harmful sudden noise from a muzzle blast.  Like all of the Radians earmuffs, they can be folded very compactly for protection of the unit and ease of storage.  They are comfortable to wear, with lots of adjustment for different sized heads.  I tend to forget I even have them on!

HE4P00CSThe Prowl Ears model is a behind the ear version that still has the amplification and compression features.  These are extremely small and easy to transport and pack.  The package includes 2 units and will work both in the woods or on the job.  Wearing this model, you can easily wear a hat or head band for warmth.

Prowl Ear_PR2601CSMy new favorite pair is the Enhance Ear!  The are a very small design that fits comfortably and securely into your ear.  Like the other electronic hearing protection that Radians offers, these can do the double duty of sound application and harmful sound compression. These do the job of their bigger brothers, while leaving you the freedom of hats, headband and eye glasses without any conflicting. I wore these the entire time I was hog hunting in Alabama recently.  They made hearing the faint hog noises much easier, while of course not doing any damage to my hearing from my shots!  Plus no extra weight to carry around with you!  These will be going to South Africa with me in a couple of months.  I need to watch what I pack because of weight, and these don’t weigh enough to make any difference in my luggage, but they will definitely make a difference when we are sighting in our rifles and hunting!

Enhance Ear_TA2701CSFor my grandchildren, I am loving the new Women and Youth models!  They now offer a Pink Pro-Amp model, which of course is pink.  They feature the dual independent microphones which amplifies your normal conversations while keeping the harmful impulse noises to a safe level. The headband is padded with a moisture wicking material.  These are designed for the smaller heads that we women tend to have.  My granddaughters have been fighting over this pair, so I will probably be adding another into our collection!

Pink Pro-Amp_PAP700CSThere are several combination packs that are offered for Women and Youth.  There is a T-71P/MP22C that pairs the performance shooting glasses with the slim design passive earmuffs.  This combo comes in pink, with the shooting glasses having tasteful accents in pink.  These earmuffs have a Noise Reduction Rating (NNR) of 22.

There is also the True Jr. Combo kit, which has the silver colored True Jr. Earmuuffs designed specifically for the younger shooter.  These are passive, and have a NNR of 21.  This kit also includes the youth model shooting glasses, with 3 interchangeable lens colors.

My grandchildren shoot often with us, so it is important to have eye and hearing protection that not only fits correctly, but also protects their delicate ears and eyes.  These models fit the bill, and also require no batteries!  We used to let them use our electronic versions, and we would have to purchase new batteries absolutely every time we used them.  The kids would inevitably leave the microphones turned on, even after they were done wearing them.  These passive models are perfect for the kids that would forget.

Radians manufactures for several different companies, including Remington.  They have also came out with a complete line of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector shooting glasses and hearing protection.  Fashionable and functional performance!

I use my hearing protection for every situation.  They go from shooting and hunting to cutting firewood and running other equipment.  The next time you are in the market for a new set of hearing protection, look for the Radians name, you will not be disappointed!  They have a hearing protection for every application and budget!

These products can be purchased at Cabelas, Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, Sears, Amazon and many other retailers.  They range in price from $15.99 for the Low Set Ear Muffs to around $100 for the Hunter’s Ear model.  And the best part…They are Made in the USA!!

Source: LadiesinCamo.com

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger

Radians Youth Kits Protect Eyes & Ears & Make Great Christmas Gifts for Young Shooting Enthusiasts

November 26, 2012, Posted in News



MEMPHIS, TN—November 20, 2012—Young shooters and hunters need to learn early in life that protecting their ears and eyes during a hunt or at the shooting range is paramount to saving their hearing and vision over the long haul.  Young sporting enthusiasts can easily and affordably protect both their ears and eyes with the Radians Youth Combo Kit.

This premium kit contains a youth-sized ear muff to protect hearing from gunshot blasts. It also contains an interchangeable shooting glass with a lens design that lets you easily switch between three lens colors:  clear, silver mirror, and amber.  A microfiber carrying bag and microfiber accessory lens storage pouch are also included to easily protect and carry the shooting glass.

If you already have hearing protection, the interchangeable shooting glass mentioned above comes as a separate kit called the Radians Youth 3 Lens Kit. Both kits make great Christmas present s for the young sporting enthusiast in your life.

For more information about Radians quality personal protective products for shooters and hunters, call 1-877-RADIANS or visit their website at www.Radians.com or  Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/RadiansPPE.

Radians is Packing the Pink To Support the Growing Number of Female Shooters and Hunters

November 26, 2012, Posted in News




MEMPHIS, TN—November 20, 2012—A recent survey by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) reports amazing growth in female participation in hunting and shooting.  According to the NSGA survey, “72 percent more women are hunting with firearms today than just five years ago.” Hunting with a bow and arrow is up 176 percent (thank you Hunger Games!) and shooting with a handgun is up 33 percent.

The survey reports that “3 million women now hunt and over 5 million women enjoy shooting.” To support the growing number of female shooters and hunters, Radians is developing a pink safety line for women that includes eye, ear, and hand protection. Some of the products in the women’s line include:

  • X-TREME™ Anti-Fog Women’s Shooting Glass  (MSRP $15.49)
  • Pink custom molded ear plugs (MSRP $14.99)
  • Lowset™  pink passive earmuffs (MSRP $19.99)
  • Pink Pro-Amp™ electronic earmuffs (MSRP $99.99)
  • Pink Shooter’s kit (shooting glass and earmuff combo (MSRP $24.99)
  • Pink Shooting Gloves (available 2013--MSRP $12.99)

When designing the products for women, Radians considers the differences in female anatomy. For example, their eyewear frames for women are 10% smaller than those made for men, providing the perfect size for women. Although the eyewear styles are more feminine, they are fully functional when it comes to meeting and exceeding ANSI Z87.1+ Standards for safety.

For more information about Radians quality personal protective products for shooters and hunters, including their ladies and youth lines, call 1-877-RADIANS or visit their website at www.Radians.com or their Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/RadiansPPE.

Radians announces new made-in-the-USA foam ear plugs

October 02, 2012, Posted in News


Although hearing protection regulations have been in place for decades, Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is still a major occupational illness. Radians' new Made in the USA foam ear plugs (Resistor, Deflector, and Deviator) provide an effective, single-use solution to combat NIHL. Because they are manufactured in America, they are also the patriotic solution to hearing protection.

Tested in accordance with ANSI S3.19-1974 standards, Radians disposable foam ear plugs feature soft, slow-recovery foam for extreme comfort and outstanding noise reduction (NRR 32 and NRR33). They are easy to roll down and insert, and then they expand slowly for a low-pressure fit in virtually any size ear canal.

They are available corded and uncorded in a tapered bullet or bell shape and are conveniently packaged in individual polybags to keep each pair clean. Bulk and case quantities are available allowing organizations to affordably address hearing protection and hygiene issues.

 “As more Americans practice patriotic spending to help jumpstart our sluggish economy, Radians Made in the USA foam plugs not only fulfill the need for quality hearing protection; but they also satisfy the need to buy American,” said Bill England, President of Radians. “There is a lot of value in being able to choose American made products these days, and Radians is on a mission to manufacture a significant amount of high quality personal protective products with a competitive value.”

Radians is a Memphis, TN-based manufacturer of quality safety glasses, hearing protection, performance gloves, high visibility clothing and footwear products. Radians has partnered with highly respected companies including DEWALT, Black & Decker, and Remington to provide high performance personal protection products. The company has additional facilities in Reno, Nevada; Dallas, Texas; Thomasville, NC, and Belmont, Michigan.


Source: ISHN 


Radians Supports West Salem Rod & Gun Club's 8th Annual Youth Day

June 25, 2012, Posted in News

Sponsored in part by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), the West Salem Rod & Gun Club gave children up to 13 years old the ability to participate in RMEF’s program called SAFE (Shooting Access for Everyone).

At the event, SAFE introduced young and novice shooters to safe and responsible firearm use, which included the wearing of Radians shooters glasses and hearing protection. The children also learned about the hunter’s role in conservation and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. The youth had the opportunity to shoot an Air Rifle with help from RMEF SAFE mentors or experienced shooters.

“Shooting competitions and youth day events are an integral part of Radians grass-roots marketing efforts to showcase our products among shooters and hunters,” says Jim Hink, Director of Marketing.  “These events allow us to foster goodwill among the community and the shooting clubs while simultaneously grooming our youth to become safety conscious.”

Mary Padron, Marketing Communications & Event Coordinator for Radians, works with the various associations and clubs to supply them with Radians safety products, banners, and marketing literature. “Sometimes, we get photos from the events, such as these posted here; and you get to see firsthand how our products keep people safe and make them happy too!”

Radians Line of Mossy Oak® Safety Products Provide Camouflage & Protection

June 11, 2012, Posted in News


– If a sponsor at The Hunger Games had sent a Radians® Hunter’s Ears™ electronic camouflage earmuff to Katniss Everdeen, she may have avoided partial deafness after the mine explosion while still being able to hear any tributes sneaking up on her.  In light of the recent fanfare associated with The Hunger Games, Radians® is proud to offer an extensive line of camouflage Mossy Oak® safety products for hunting that provides both concealment and protection for the outdoor enthusiast.

Respectful of fashion trends and passionate about safety equipment, Radians Mossy Oak-licensed patterns provide camouflage style and high-tech features to protect hearing and vision.

High-Tech Hearing Protection

By combining electronic amplification and automatic compression technology, Radians Hunter’s Ears™ have revolutionized hearing protection for the sports enthusiast. The main benefit of an electronic earmuff, such as Radians Hunter’s Ears™, is the enhancement of outdoor sounds while providing concealment, warmth, comfort, and ear protection from muzzle blast sounds.
The electronic sound amplification earmuff with 2 independent high frequency directional microphones enhances the surrounding sounds, thereby providing an environment where users can hear range commands and game, as well as their hunting partners. The compression technology automatically compresses harmful impulse noise to a safer range below 85dB without clipping or cutting. The camouflage Mossy Oak pattern offers concealment, something else that is very important as witnessed in The Hunger Games.

A Mossy Oak-patterned earmuff called the Low Set Camo is available from the Radians passive hearing collection. Its adjustable CoolMax® headband offers a comfortable, tight fit, which is important in blocking out harmful noise in passive hearing protection.

Vision Protection

Radians also has Mossy Oak camouflage patterns available in its arsenal of vision protection.  A variety of formats are available:


Safety, including hearing and eye protection, is an important concept to teach our youth, especially when it comes to the world of hunting and shooting. Radians designed the Journey Jr.™ in Mossy Oak® Break-Up® camo shooting glasses specifically for younger shooting and hunting enthusiasts.

Specialty Eyewear

Radians Mossy Oak Polarized Cobalt safety glasses provide a quality polarized lens. This specialty lens eliminates reflective glare that directly hits the lens and also a portion that hits at other angles.  Eliminating reflective glare reduces eyestrain, allowing a crisp view of the surroundings in richer colors. For those around water, it eliminates reflection and allows viewing below the water’s surface.

Hunter’s Kit™

The Mossy Oak® Break-Up® Hunter’s Kit by Radians provides the combination of eyeware and hearing protection in one convenient kit. The Journey™ shooting glass with a full wraparound frame, 4-position telescoping temple, is available with a Cease Fire™ earplug or a pair of tan Custom Molded Earplugs.

Mossy Oak® Break-Up® patterns are available through a full line of Radians® Electronic and Passive Products.  For more information, contact a sales representative at 1.877.723.4267 or visit www.Radians.com.

Radians® is a Memphis, TN, based manufacturer of quality safety glasses, hearing protection, performance gloves, high visibility clothing and footwear products. Radians has partnered with highly respected companies including DEWALT, Black & Decker, Mossy Oak, and Remington to provide high performance personal protection products. The company has additional facilities in Reno, Nevada; Dallas, Texas; and Belmont, Michigan.

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