According to a 2018 report in Safety and Health magazine, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) conducted a study that found nearly 60 percent of former construction workers had developed some sort of hearing loss. Furthermore, the CPWR study found that those in construction, and similar avenues of work, were at a significantly higher risk of hearing loss compared to most other professions. Why? These professionals are regularly exposed to dangerously loud equipment and tools noise. Does this sound familiar?
Per the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 decibels (dB) can damage your hearing over time. Exposure to noise at 120 dB can lead to immediate hearing damage. Now, consider that gas-powered yard tools operate at 80-85 dB, miter saws at 100 dB, hammer drills at 115 dB and hand drills at 98 dB, and you can see why those in the skilled trades tend to experience hearing loss over time. But it doesn't have to be this way.
|Gas-Powered Yard Tools
|Hearing damage after 2 hrs
|Hearing damage after 15 min
|Hearing damage after 2 min
|Hearing damage after 5 min
Yes, the good news is that there are ways to protect your hearing - and it is possible to acquire OSHA compliant hearing protection by wearing something other than conventional earplugs or safety ear muffs. One solution to help create an enjoyable and safe environment while you work is a pair of ISOtunes' OSHA compliant headphones or earplugs. In this post, we'll further discuss why ISOtunes headphones are safe to wear at work, in the shop, while you're working in the yard and beyond. Here's a closer look:
Inside the Headphones: A Look at ISOtunes Technology
It's common for skilled trades workers to wear headphones to stay entertained and/or informed while they're on the clock. But not all headphones are the same when it comes to safety. While all headphones can play a small role in minimizing outside noise, ISOtunes offers a bit more of a one-two punch when it comes to safety.
One, all ISOtunes headphones and earplugs are tested and approved to safety standards in accordance with ANSI S3.19-1974 specifications, meaning they meet OSHA requirements to qualify as a hearing protection device in the workplace. The ANSI S3.19-1974 is a noise reduction rating that all hearing devices must be tested against before they can be sold as such. ISOtunes headphones more than meet the criteria by using industrial grade TRILOGY™ foam to block up to 29 dB of noise. In fact, all of ISOtunes products are tested in a third-party lab to ensure that they meet the aforementioned safety requirements.
In fact, all of ISOtunes products are tested in a third-party lab to ensure that they meet the aforementioned safety requirements.
And two, all ISOtunes headphones limit Bluetooth volume output at 85 dB, which is also compliant with OSHA standards. For reference, most headphones can reach up to 110 dB in volume when playing audio. This ensures that wearing ISOtunes headphones will help protect your hearing - both from outside noise and your music.
When you consider that OSHA violations start at nearly $14,000 and can cost up to $136,500 for willful or repeat violations, it's important to comply with the standards as best as you possibly can. Investing in the right type of hearing protection is one box to check off the list, but the right hearing protection is about much more than just complying with OSHA standards. Investing in the right hearing protection can prevent long-term, permanent hearing damage from prolonged exposure to workplace noise. When you consider that nearly 60 percent of former construction workers experienced some sort of work-related hearing loss, this latter point is all the more important.
There's plenty more to like about ISOtunes headphones beyond their status as OSHA compliant hearing protection. Let's take a look at some of the unique safety features packed into their products:
You might think that ISOtunes headphones do such a good job of blocking outside noise and protecting your hearing that you might not be aware of what's going on around you. That's not the case - and it’s all thanks to Aware Technology™. Aware Technology™ enhances your situational awareness by amplifying the sounds around you that you likely want to hear and blocking the sounds that you don't. It works by using microphones to capture sounds, then it relays these sounds through the device, similar to how a hearing aid works. What's neat is there's even a separate volume button for the Aware Technology™ feature, so you can adjust how loudly these sounds are delivered to you.
Aware Technology™ is specifically ideal for workers who are subject to loud sounds in their environment, but still need to be aware of their surroundings. When the headphones detect noise within the environment that exceeds 85 dB, Aware Technology™ will shut off to passively block the sound, then return when the decibel level in the environment has reached a safe level.
Like we said above, all ISOtunes headphones will not exceed a volume of 85 dB - even when they're turned all the way up. This is called SafeMax™ Technology, and it's standard across all ISOtunes headphone products. This feature ensures that ISOtunes headphones will never damage the hearing of those who are wearing them. This feature is also compliant with OSHA standards. It's one thing to experience hearing damage by working in a certain environment. But it's another thing to experience self-inflicted hearing damage from your headphones. ISOtunes products will ensure that neither happens.
ISOtunes headphones will not exceed a volume of 85 dB - even when they're turned all the way up. This feature ensures that ISOtunes headphones will never damage the hearing of those who are wearing them.
Other Benefits of ISOtunes Headphones
Aside from the technological benefits that help make ISOtunes headphones a safe solution in your loud work environment, there are a variety of other features that help make these products stand out from others. For instance, you can rest assured that these products have been approved for use in your workplace simply based on all of the testing that they go through before they hit the market. In addition to OSHA compliance, these headphones are tested to ANSI and EPA hearing protection standards. If you want to verify their applicability, we simply ask that you double check with your site's safety officer.
In addition to the safety benefits, there are other benefits of wearing ISOtunes headphones in your workplace environment. Here's a look at some of them:
- Durability: Most products take a beating in industrial environments - and your headphones are no exception. The good news about ISOtunes hearing protectors is that they're all built to last - and backed by a 1-year warranty. ISOtunes headphones are designed to stand up to even the most rigorous environments, and products vary in durability by model. For instance, most models are both water and sweat resistant. Some models, such as the PRO 2.0 and XTRA 2.0, are also dust tight and waterproof. The bottom line is that ISOtunes earmuffs and ear plugs are designed to stand up to the demanding rigors of the construction site, machine shop, auto shop, farm, and more.
- Bluetooth connectivity: From hands-free calling to voice activation, ISOtunes headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity, setting them apart from standard hearing protectors. With a wireless range of up to 30 feet, you don't even need your device nearby to take advantage of all these products have to offer. Set your phone in one part of the shop and work in the other. Your headphones should still be able to connect without an issue.
- Background noise-reducing microphone: We told you above how hands-free calling is one feature of ISOtunes headphones. Another key feature is background noise-reducing microphones, so when you take or make calls on this device, whoever you're talking to won't have to worry about hearing you over everything else that's going on around you. It'll also enable you to carry out the work or task that you're performing without having to excuse yourself to a more quiet area. It's a win-win for everyone. Not sure if your safety officer will approve of taking calls while you work? ISOtunes offers Industrial Listen Only products that don't include microphones for phone calls.
- Comfort: A pair of headphones isn't any good if it's not above all comfortable to wear - and this is especially true for professionals who must wear hearing protection all day long. Comfort is everything, and ISOtunes headphones and earplugs aren't just safe, durable and versatile - they're also comfortable to wear. If they weren't, all of these other benefits would be worthless.
- Long lasting battery life: You don't want to have to charge your headphones several times a day or on your breaks while you're working. No, you rely on your headphones to last all day - and then maybe some. Not all headphones have the ability to stay working all day long, but ISOtunes headphones do. All-day battery life is a standard feature on ISOtunes products so you won't have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of your shift.
- They come in both in-ear and over-ear styles: Prefer to put earbuds in your ears? There's an ISOtunes model for that. Rather wear earmuffs over your ears? There's an ISOtunes model for that, too. From wired models to true wireless models to earmuff models, there's an ISOtunes headphone style for you - regardless of your preferences or what your site safety supervisor recommends.
As you can see, OSHA compliance is hardly the only big benefit that ISOtunes headphones boast for those who wear them. There are a slew of other benefits that users can realize when they make these products their headphones of choice in the workplace and around the house. In the next section, we'll discuss some of the ideal environments to wear these products in.
Where to Wear Them
While you can wear ISOtunes headphones just about anywhere you want to, they're ideal for loud environments where prolonged exposure to high volume levels could lead to long-term hearing damage. That being said, they're best worn in industrial environments and workshops. They're ideal for landscapers or lawn cutting professionals, for working on the farm, for working in the auto body shop, on the construction site and more. ISOtunes customers range from woodworkers in Europe to Canadian carpenters to lawn maintenance professionals to restoration workers. All of these aforementioned professions deal with vehicles, equipment or tools where volumes may exceed 85 dB for an extended period of time. We'll say it again - any prolonged noise of 85 dB or higher has the potential to significantly damage your hearing over time.
Of course, ISOtunes also makes for a great accessory to have around the house as well. Whether you're working in your garage or home workshop, mowing the lawn on the weekends or taking your motorcycle out for a spin, protecting your hearing doesn't stop when you leave your workplace. It should extend to the home environment as well. They're even great to pop in if your house has become too chaotic and you can't escape. If you can't leave, you can always do something to dilute the noise with headphones or earplugs.