|[December 18, 2012]
Do You Hear What I Hear?
CINCINNATI --(Business Wire)--
From ringing bells to fireplace logs crackling, the sounds of the
holiday season are now in the air. However, for employees in loud
workplaces, these sentimental noises may become a faint memory of the
past if the proper precautions aren't taken. To encourage businesses to
develop and maintain effective hearing protection programs, Cintas
Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS), a leader in first-aid and safety
products, has identified a checklist for selecting a hearing
conservation partner for testing, training and hearing protection
"Unfortunately, hearing loss is an invisible threat within many
workplace environments," said John Amann, Vice President, Cintas. "It's
important to establish a comprehensive solution for hearing protection
and partner with experts who provide employers with helpful tools and
knowledge. We've combined our training and hearing protection equipment
offerings with the on-site testing expertise of accredited professionals
from Examinetics to ensure hearing conservation is an ongoing priority
The top must-have attributes for a hearing conservation partner include:
1. Industry knowledge: Partners should understand workplace
hazards and be positioned to share that expertise with customers'
employees through on-site training sessions. For instance, many safety
directors don't realize that employees typically wear too much
hearing protection. This backfires because employees either can't hear,
putting safety at risk, or remove earplugs or earmuffs in order to hear,
thus compromising hearing health. Research also shows exposure to toxic
agents such as carbon monoxide and organic solvents, such as those found
in paint thinners, can impact hearing, especially when combined with
noise. Partners with industry knowledge can share this information with
safety directors to encourage everyday sfety.
2. Onsite testing: Offsite hearing testing can lead to reduced
productivity from workers and unnecessary stress for managers. Partners
with mobile testing units simplify the process by bringing testing
directly to worksites. Onsite testing also allows organizations to see
results right away.
3. An extensive database: Since hearing loss is often gradual,
it's important to track the progression of employees' hearing health
over time. Partners can assist by using a secure database to keep
baseline exam results on file to compare with new test results.
Employers should have 24/7 access to test results and reports and
understand how employee testing results compare to industry standards.
4. Testing in a calibrated environment: In some cases, noises may
disrupt the accuracy of a hearing test. Hearing conservation partners
can ensure results are precise by continuously monitoring the test
environment during testing. This makes it easy to identify if a loud
noise has compromised accuracy and the worker needs to be retested.
5. Proper certifications: Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) requires hearing testing to be conducted by an
audiologist, physician or technician. Preferably, technicians will be
certified by the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing
Conservation (CAOHC). However, many offsite clinics have high staff
turnover rates and choose to forgo CAOHC certification for employees.
Individuals should have knowledge of OSHA, MSHA (mining) and FRA
(railroad) hearing regulations. Ideal partners will also employ
CAOHC-certified professional supervisors who have specific expertise in
hearing testing compliance.
6. Multilingual options: Testing needs to accommodate employees
whose first language is not English, so organizations should look for
partners with testing in alternate languages such as Spanish.
7. National reach: Consistent testing is important, especially
for organizations with locations that span across cities and states.
Partners with national reach can conduct testing at each location and
compare results from one area to another. This allows companies to
determine which locations need to improve hearing conservation efforts.
8. Personal protective equipment options: Personal protective
equipment (PPE), such as hearing earmuffs and earplugs, keeps employees
safe in noisy environments. A partner should be able to recommend the
correct type of protection, have a variety of options to fit different
needs and people, and regularly replenish inventory so stock is never
low. This will ensure employees have proper fitting and appropriate
"A great hearing conservation program includes top-quality testing
performed under the direction of an experienced and certified
supervisor," said Cindy Bloyer, manager of Audiology Services,
Examinetics. "Combining this with proper training and equipment means
that workers will be able to hear everything from job instructions to
seasonal sounds for years to come."
For more information on first-aid and safety solutions from Cintas,
please visit www.cintas.com/firstaidsafety.
About Cintas Corporation:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly
specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout
North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate
identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning
and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid,
safety, fire protection products and services and document management
services for more than 900,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held
company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol
CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
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