On February 24, 2012, I am an inspirational speaker for the National Hearing Conservation Association at the Astor Crowne Plaza / French Quarter
New Orleans, LA.
This upbeat and diverse group of hearing conservation advocates is made up of Audiologists, nurses, industrial hygenists and more.
What binds this group is their passion for preventing noise induced hearing loss. Daily they fight the battle to get people to value and protect their hearing. Interesting that a group of hearing conservation advocates would plan a conference in New Orleans around Mardi Gras!
Like most industries hearing loss prevention has evolved. Some of the notable changes in this arena involve labeling. Most labeling standards have outgrown their relevance as they were written in the 1970's. Currently they are being revamped.
Some of the ratings that are being altered:
NRR is the Noise Reduction Rating. This rating attempts to measure how much noise you are capable of reducing, often through ear plugs.
PAR is the Personal Attenuation Rating. This Rating measures the noise attenuation for the individual user.
In recent years, the industry has also gone through some major consolidation. There used to be 6 or 7 major players where now there are only 2 or 3. Today, the two major players in the hearing prevention industry are Honeywell and 3M.
To prepare to be an inspirational speaker for the NHCA, i asked several delegates, what can you do to prevent hearing loss in the workplace?
The consensus is that awareness is key. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usually involves ear plugs that must be catered to the ear canal of the user. Technology in this area has also evolved. Ear plugs now have the capability of enhancing situational awareness whereby they decrease background noise but can still hear and communicate with others.
Other ways to reduce the impact of loud noise at work is to obviously get futher away from the noise, turn it down if possible, build a wall or a " box" to surround workers in a noise free zone. Another technique is called Auditory Rest, where temporary relief from noise can help people recover from any temporary damage.
As an inspirational speaker for the NHCA conference, my motivational talk is called The Nerve to Serve... Say Hello to Humor & Goodbye to Burnout!