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How Push-To-Talk Hearing Protection Optimizes Team Communication

Communication is critical to personal safety, especially in noisy workplaces. Combining it with technology that helps workers stay protected and productive is a win-win.

Ear Protection for Loud Work Environments

3M™ PELTOR™ Professional In-Ear Communication Headset

The 3M™ PELTOR™ Professional In-Ear Communication Headset (PIC-100) delivers a personalized on-demand fit test functionality that complies with ANSI/ASA S12.71-2018 and ensures the appropriate protection based on the hazardous noise environment. Coupled with the ability to enable multiple listeners and simultaneous talkers, this provides a turn-key solution for warehouse, construction, food and beverage, heavy machinery, and manufacturing and transportation workers at the touch of a button.

I need to talk to my colleague...

Workers may be tempted to remove hearing protection when talking with their colleagues, thereby exposing them to hazardous noises. Recognizing that both are important, choose hearing protection that offers the ability to communicate face-to-face and permits environmental listening – at safe levels.

Common Noise Levels

Combining hearing protection with other PPE

Select hearing protection that works with other PPE, including earmuffs, hard hats, safety glasses/goggles, and respiratory PPE, and can be augmented for individual workers.


Will wearing communication headsets impact worker productivity? You bet!

According to a study conducted at Lund University, “when using radio communications like the 3M™ PELTOR™ WS™ LiteCom Plus Headsets, the critical downtime for the work team in the case study decreased almost 50%, an average of 17 minutes per 8-hour workday. This represents a savings of approximately 37 hours in a normal infrastructure project of 26 weeks*.”

Table 1 The observed time for direct work, downtime, critical downtime, and stop time in minutes during observation 1 and 2.


Activity (min)

MonTueWedThuFriTotal (min)

Observation 1

Direct Work3453752354063391700
Critical Downtime7044152429182

Observation 2
With 3M™ PELTOR™
WS™ LiteCom Plus Headsets

Direct Work4244254444123752080
Critical Downtime162420211697

* This study was made by Victoria Joäng and Ajdin Sadikovi'c, Lund University Faculty of Engineering (LTH) in Sweden.

Implementing Your Hearing Conservation Program

Every workplace has noise hazards; however, determining when and where hearing protection is required by OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.95 may not be so straightforward. Because noise exposure can cause irreparable damage, consider hiring an Industrial Hygienist who can properly monitor and advise what noise levels your employees are exposed to. Once you have identified what noise hazards exist, whether from equipment, sudden impacts, or long-duration exposure, a proper PPE program can be developed.


Your Organization's Hearing Conservation Program Should Include:

Noise Monitoring - If employees are exposed to noise over 85dB for an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA), employers are required to institute a hearing conservation program that includes:

  • Engineering Controls - Develop a written program
  • Testing - Provide diagnostic hearing testing – both baseline and annually
  • Protective Equipment - Provide hearing protection equipment
  • Training - Provide training to ensure workers know how to use the equipment

Have a Safe Day!