Getting Personal with Hearing Conservation in the Workplace
In late 2009, Kenny Dillard, faced seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges to the Hearing Conservation program at a Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility of Shaw Industries Group, Inc., the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider.
Although the company invests in engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise levels, and continues to look for ways to decrease the exposure in the work environment, hearing protection is still needed for many workers. Meanwhile, the local climate, which generates both extreme heat and humidity, often makes the wearing of earmuffs uncomfortable.
The solution, Dillard decided, was to “get personal" with an innovative program that integrates the Howard Leight® VeriPRO® ear plug fit testing system with one-on-one training, resulting in personal validation and self-efficacy.
At Shaw, the new VeriPRO ear plug fit testing program “represents an on-going investment in workers and their personal safety” that resulted in what Dillard believes has evolved into a true one-on-one Hearing Conservation Program. “To get where we are now meant that we had to change our whole mindset — to realize that it’s all about each and every individual — and what fits them well,” he said.
The program is the subject of a new case study which traces Dillard's progress through each stage of the program's development and implementation, from "Doubling Up for Safety" to "Ear Plug Fit Testing and Verification" to "Ear Plug Selection, Protection, and Training" to "Personal Validation" – providing a detailed blueprint for safety, industrial hygiene, plant managers, and others to emulate at their own facilities.
To read the complete article or download the case study, please visit our page here.