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The Project

The PiezoSelEx project has been initiated to address the problem with that exists with exiting hearing protection equipment.

Concept and Objectives

There are 700,000 SMEs in the key sectors of manufacturing and transport across Europe currently dealing with reduced productivity due to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) in the work place. In these key sectors an estimated 572,000 people are diagnosed as suffering with occupational deafness. This amounts to €345m lost per annum by European companies if each of these people takes one day off (per annum) due to occupational deafness. 

Current EU legislation requires employers to provide suitable ear protection for workers exposed to high levels of noise. However, worker compliance in hearing conservation programs often is low. The attitude of many workers is that the use of hearing protection impairs hearing capability. 

Therefore a suitable alternative to existing ear protection is needed – one allowing specific ranges of sound frequencies (i.e. those within the range of speech and alarms) to be heard whilst significantly reducing other potentially harmful noise frequencies.

In the ear (ITE)  hearing protection, whilst inexpensive, can be uncomfortable with prolonged use, and may only provide moderate protection.

Standard over the ear (OTE)  hearing protection is easier to fit than plugs, but is heavier and less suitable for use in confined spaces or hot environments.

OTE active noise reduction (ANR)  hearing protection improves noise reduction, but tends to be large and heavy, due to the need for electronics and batteries.