Galliford Try adopts smart digital ear defenders

4 November 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Contractor Galliford Try has introduced digitally enabled ear defenders that allow it to “see” noise hotspots across sites, following a trial with a technology firm.

Galliford Try initially used Eave’s headsets using “hear-through” technology on the Lincoln Eastern Bypass and is now introducing them on its sites on the M1, with a long-term intention to improve hearing protection across all their sites.

The headsets allow users to hear environmental noise while being protected from noisy environments. They employ “internet of things” (IoT) technology to measure and pinpoint noise which enables Galliford Try to see exactly where noise hotspots are on its sites, allowing the firm to eliminate the hazard at source.

The trial came in response to figures that show that occupational deafness is the most common workplace disease, and, of the nine million people in the UK who are deaf, exposure to noise is the leading cause. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that 40% of users supposedly wearing hearing protection are not safe because the defenders are not worn correctly or are removed in order to hear.

Mark Bridges, health and safety manager for Galliford Try said: “Our ambition is to use this level of hearing protection across all our projects. We want to be at the forefront of the movement towards better hearing conservation. This is such a pressing issue for the construction industry and it’s our responsibility to identify the best technology to eradicate the risk. There is enough information out there now to show that most ear defenders are not up to the job and that smart hearing conservations systems like this are the future.”

Dr David Greenberg, Eave founder and CEO added: “We are delighted with the success of the Lincoln trial and that Galliford Try has now become a valued partner. Together we are committed to raising the bar for the standard of hearing protection in the UK construction industry and transforming the way noise in the workplace is managed. Our mission at Eave has always been to prevent the devastating impact of noise induced hearing loss, and with this contract we are one step closer to that goal.”

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