Got a Great Idea to Help with Noise Protection?

Do you have a great idea that you believe would help reduce noise in the workplace? A great idea for a new type of ear muff? The Department of Labor wants to hear from you (no pun intended).

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The Department of Labor has just issued a challenge: “Make a difference in preventing work-induced hearing loss by submitting your innovative solutions to challenge.gov by Sept. 20, 2016.

In their words:

“Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Last year, U.S. businesses paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers. While it’s impossible to put a number on the human toll of hearing loss, an estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability.

Hearing loss is pervasive. It is also preventable. Ways to prevent work-induced hearing loss include using quieter machines, isolating the noise source, minimizing worker exposure, or creating more effective protective equipment.

Design a new technology concept that overcomes barriers in work-induced hearing loss prevention. For example, you could:

Design technology that will enhance employer training so that wearing hearing protection becomes a habit.

Design a real-time detection system that will alert workers, wirelessly through their mobile devices, when hearing protection is not blocking enough noise to prevent hearing loss.

Design selective hearing protectors that allow workers to hear important alerts or human voices while protected from harmful noise.

Don’t limit yourself to these three ideas. Use your experiences to inspire a solution.”

Find out more and submit your idea here.

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