Hearing loss Federal agencies

Listen up: OSHA announces hearing-protection technology contest winners

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Photo: Department of Labor

Washington – Four inventors have been recognized by OSHA, NIOSH, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration for their innovations in developing technology intended to combat work-related hearing loss.

Entrants in the inaugural Hear and Now – Noise Safety Challenge created concepts to solve specific work-related hearing loss problems, providing details on how their designs differed from technology that is currently available. Ten finalists pitched their ideas before judges on Oct. 27.

Nick Laperle and Jeremie Voix of Montreal-based eers received first place for a custom-fitted earpiece that offered workers protection, communication and monitoring.

Brendon Dever, president of Heads Up Display in Buffalo, NY, took second place for wearable sensor technology that attaches to glasses or protective equipment and detects noise levels while providing warnings and communication through a color-coded lighting system.

Madeline Bennett, CEO and founder of Seattle-based Otogear, was awarded third place for an interchangeable decorative piece that attaches to silicone earplugs.

“This event was an innovative way for government to help better protect workers from job-related hearing loss by connecting the entrepreneurial community with inventors developing solutions,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release.

According to OSHA, 22 million workers a year are at risk of hearing loss due to workplace noise.

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