Construction Site Safety Improves with Wireless Headsets
Reprinted from Sonetics
Instant, Two-Way Conversation Improves Construction Site Safety by Eliminating the Risks and Frustrations of Traditional Communication Systems
Communication is vital to not only getting the job done, but getting it done safely. Construction sites are loud places, and talking with coworkers isn’t easy. As a result, more companies are looking to wireless headsets to improve construction site safety and connect their crews.
Wireless Communication Improves Construction Site Safety
The number one contributing factor for on-the-job accidents is communication breakdown. When you have multiple crew members on a job site and heavy equipment or operations that require precision and attention, you can’t afford to miss or misunderstand instructions, signals or warnings. When that happens, risk increases and productivity drops because you either have to stop what you’re doing to make sure the crew hears you over the equipment, or stop to correct mistakes that happened during the communication breakdown. That leads to a duplication of effort and deadline drift.
Before headsets were common on construction sites, most crews used hand signals or shouting to communicate with each other. Those methods aren’t reliable and instructions aren’t always clearly interpreted, leading to serious issues when workers need to react quickly in a safety situation.
The Bad Old Days
Foam ear plugs and ear muffs protect your hearing, but they prevent effective communication. In order to talk to a coworker, you have several choices. You can remove your foamies or muffs and shout over the noise. You might leave them in and use those hand signals you memorized ahead of time, as long as you can see each other clearly (and remember what they mean.) You could stop working and turn off the equipment so you can understand each other. But nothing’s getting done while you talk. After you’ve interrupted your work a few dozen times it quickly becomes frustrating.
Construction site safety improves when crews wear wireless headsets to communicate. Now you can talk and keep right on working. And when an “all-stop” is called, everyone hears it instantly. Those extra seconds of reaction time can mean the difference when lives and expensive equipment are at risk.
Productivity gets a boost, as well. You don’t have to stop working to discuss how you’re going to solve a problem, position equipment, or coordinate something complex. You just talk while you’re doing the work, and make adjustments as you go.
A Better Way to Protect Your Hearing
Wireless headsets not only help improve communication, they also protect your ears from dangerous construction site noise. The many pieces of construction equipment on job sites combine to create significant noise levels, which over time can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
To help prevent this type of injury, Sonetics headsets include 20 decibels of hearing protection and noise cancelling microphones. When you stand next to a loud piece of equipment, you’ll find the noise is greatly reduced and you can clearly hear and understand the other members of your crew.
Reduce Your “Noise Stress”
Constant exposure to loud noises can be stressful on the body and the mind. Lowering sound levels makes work sites less hectic, which improves both precision and accuracy. It also provides much-needed stress relief. When crews are shouting or trying to interpret hand signals and things don’t go smoothly, frustration and stress levels go up. Wireless headsets keep you in clear communication with your crew at all times, reduce loud noises and remove the need for shouting. As a result, the work environment becomes calmer, more productive and more enjoyable.
Communication Without Isolation
Sonetics headsets also include listen-through technology, which allows you to let in the right amount of environmental noise. If you need to hear equipment warnings, signals or even traffic, you’re not cut off from your surroundings. This is critical if you deal with highly dynamic environments where you can’t sacrifice situational awareness. It will even let you have a face-to-face conversation with a person who isn’t wearing a headset without removing yours.
Two-Way Radios are a One-Way Street
A lot of crews depend on two-way radios on the job site, but they present their own construction site safety challenges. Often you can’t hear the radio when it’s clipped to your vest, leading to missed communications. If you do hear it, you have to push a button to respond. That can be risky when your hands are busy trying to do a job or operate equipment. Wireless headsets have no buttons to push, so no interruptions.
That last piece is essential, since if you and a coworker press the push-to-talk button on a two-way radio at the same time, you can lock up the channel. When that happens, no one can hear you and if that’s when an “all-stop” happens, it can be dangerous.
How Sonetics Wireless Headsets Work
Technology advances make wireless headsets easier to use than ever before. Sonetics’ proprietary DECT7® wireless technology delivers clear audio that is “full-duplex,” meaning workers can talk as if they were on a conference call. There are no buttons to push. Just put on the headsets and talk to each other. And they’re truly wireless; no belt packs or dangling cords to get snagged as you work.
Sonetics headsets pair to a wireless base station that connects up to five headsets. You can use separate channels on the base to hold secure conversations as needed. It’s completely secure and encrypted, so you won’t be picking up frequencies from other technologies or be overheard on someone else’s channel.
Improve the Safety of Your Construction Site
Wireless headsets have become the gold standard for safe and effective team communication. Add in the boosts to productivity and advanced hearing protection, and you have a recipe for improved construction site safety.