Vector Aerospace is an industry-leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services for aircraft across the globe. At its base in Gosport, Hampshire, the Fire Services team require high quality noise protection, to combat high levels of aircraft noise.
The noise protection problem:
It’s a requirement of the fire service team to wear full service personal protective equipment (PPE) whilst carrying out duties on the heliport and around aircraft; however traditional overhead ear defenders are not compatible with the protective helmet.
The noise levels on site from aircraft can, on occasion, exceed 100 decibels, with the average noise levels reaching 98 decibels when tested.
Before SonoLab Instant Fit Custom Moulded Earplugs were introduced, the fire service team were forced to choose between the protection provided by their helmets, and the hearing protection provided by their ear defenders.
The alternative was to use foam earplugs when the helmet was on, but the team found they did not gain the levels of hearing protection they required.
SonoLab Instant Fit Custom Moulded Earplugs are now the preferred mandatory hearing protection for the Fire Service team at Vector Aerospace to wear. Staff members are provided with the earplugs, and have recently learned the simple process of the self-fit option, which only takes six minutes to custom mould to the shape of the individual’s ear. SonoLab earplugs offer the highest levels of protection, and comfortably fit underneath protective helmets. The earplugs work with the SonoLab Noise Attenuation Programme (SNAP), which tests and proves the hearing protection level which is then recorded on employees’ health surveillance forms.
Stuart Burns, Fire Service Manager at Vector Aerospace, said: “The SonoLab earplugs have been the perfect solution to us for a number of reasons. They are compatible with our other PPE equipment, they offer the highest quality ear protection available because they custom-mould, and it can be tested and proved with the attenuation system, so our occupational health team are also happy.”
“Hearing protection is a very serious consideration with aircraft; you cannot go onto the airfield anywhere without making sure you’re protected.”
The Fire Services team at Vector Aerospace have now been using the SonoLab solution for four years.