Tackling the problem of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is no easy feat, primarily because a lot tradies only wear earmuffs occasionally when they are using loud tools and equipment.
Unfortunately, a worksite is such a dynamic environment, with many other trades working in close proximity also making a pile of noise, that unless you are wearing ear protection passively most of the time you are not going to be fully protected and you are going to experience NIHL. You could be working in one room of a residential build making minimal or no noise, with no hearing protection, when suddenly someone in the next room metres away starts cutting metal on the drop saw.
The solution is to wear ear protection a lot more often, if not all the time, onsite.
Anyone who has worn typical earmuffs will know the pressure on the top of the head can cause headaches and discomfort, and wearing them can cause the wearer to feel isolated and less aware of their surroundings. The result is earmuffs not being worn.
The team at Honeywell has looked to solve these problems by creating the very impressive Verishield™ 100 Series passive range of earmuffs.
At the heart of their design is wearer comfort and fit. When you barely realise you have them on, why you wouldn’t wear them?
- Large dimension range
- Wide cup opening
- Lightweight, cushioned headband
- Memory foam ear cushions
- Robust construction
- Airflow control technology
- Designed for use with other PPE
Comfort is king, and these babies are right up there.
The great shape is the best place to start. The large dimension range means they fit a wide range of head sizes. There is a wide cup opening which means even those with a good set of wingnuts or people with hearing aids will enjoy the larger fit and feel.
Like A Pair Of Beats By DR DRE
The cushioned headband feels more like you are wearing a pair of Beats by Dr Dre than a worksite earmuff. They also look a lot more like a pair of Beats. The construction is solid, and airflow technology means a wide range of sound frequencies have been covered. Last but not least, the memory foam ear cushions which rest on the ears are like a pillow to sleep on at night.
Overall these babies are a pleasure to wear, which in the real world means they are going to be left on tradies’ ears a lot longer over the course of a day. That in itself is going to reduce a massive amount of occupational noise-induced hearing loss over the span of a worker’s career.
- Suitable for a wide range of noise-level environments
- Easy to fit and wear
- Ideal for wearers with sensitive ears
- Ideal for wearing with hearing aids
- Helps keep ears warm in winter
There are various styles in the Verishield™ Passive range:
- Over The Head / Folding (traditional style earmuffs)
- Hard Hat (they clip into the side of the hard hat)
- Neckband (fitting around the back of the neck)
All three styles come in Low, Mid and High attenuation levels so you can select your earmuff to suit the loudness of the environment you will be working in most of the time.
I wear a trucker cap most days, so the behind-the-neck style earmuffs were my favs. I could leave the muffs on without having a strap over the top of the hat to create a sweaty, hot head.
If you are a construction worker on commercial sites and need to wear a hard hat, the clip-in versions have attachments for a wide range of styles to correctly fit to your hard hat, providing a good cup fit over the ear at all times.
I tested the Verishield™ range onsite for a week or so and found I would regularly forget I was wearing earmuffs. I alternated between the VS110 (27dB) – for normal conditions, which still allowed hearing conversations and the phone ringing – and the VS130 (32dB) model for chasing and performing other very loud tasks.
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
To be honest, it’s all good for the Verishield™ 100 Series from Honeywell. There is no bad, and definitely no ugly. They look cool and work a treat. This range of earmuffs, if worn as designed, will reduce, if not remove, NIHL.
No tradie is going to wear a set of earmuffs all day, but when they are as comfortable as these and look the part as well, tradies are certainly going to wear them for a significantly more extended period. That will be a huge step forward for tradies around Australia.
For more information visit www.honeywellsafety.com