Three inventors were recognized for their ideas to reduce work-related hearing loss during the first “Hear and Now — Noise Safety Challenge” hosted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on Oct. 27, in Washington, D.C.
The challenge was launched with the dual goals of inspiring creative ideas and raising business awareness of the market for workplace safety innovation, according to the sponsoring agencies. Ten finalists, selected from 28 submissions to Challenge.gov, were invited to Washington, D.C., to present their solutions to reduce workplace-induced hearing loss.
“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,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels.
A panel of judges awarded first place to Nick Laperle and Jeremie Voix for their custom-fitted earpiece designed to provide a worker with protection, communication and monitoring.
Brendon Dever was selected for second place for a wearable sensor technology that affixes to glasses or protective equipment such as hardhats. The sensor detects noise levels and provides warnings and other communications via color-coded lights.
Third place was awarded to Madeline Bennett for an interchangeable decorative piece that attaches to silicone earplugs. The attachments are manufactured with licensed designs for sports teams, businesses, or music festivals.