At Shaw Industries, Personalized Ear Plug Fit Test Overcomes Challenges to Worker Hearing Protection

Personalized ear plug fit testing helped Shaw Industries managers seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges to their Worker Hearing Protection programs.
By: Howard Leight
Sept. 13, 2011 - PRLog -- In late 2009, Kenny Dillard, faced seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges to the Hearing Conservation program at a Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility of Shaw Industries Group, Inc., the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider.

Although the company invests in engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise levels, and continues to look for ways to decrease the exposure in the work environment, hearing protection is still needed for many workers. Meanwhile, the local climate, which generates both extreme heat and humidity, often makes the wearing of earmuffs uncomfortable.

The solution, Dillard decided, was to “get personal" with an innovative program that integrates the Howard Leight® VeriPRO® ear plug fit testing system with one-on-one training, resulting in personal validation and self-efficacy.

At Shaw, the new VeriPRO ear plug fit testing program “represents an on-going investment in workers and their personal safety” that resulted in what Dillard believes has evolved into a true one-on-one Hearing Conservation Program. “To get where we are now meant that we had to change our whole mindset — to realize that it’s all about each and every individual — and what fits them well,” he said.

The program proved to be an overwhelming success, earning Shaw the 2011 Safe-in-Sound Award for Best Practices in Hearing Conservation, presented by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).

The program is also the subject of a new case study which traces Dillard's progress through each stage of the program's development and implementation, from "Doubling Up for Safety" to "Ear Plug Fit Testing and Verification" to "Ear Plug Selection, Protection, and Training" to "Personal Validation" – providing a detailed blueprint for safety, industrial hygiene, plant managers, and others to emulate at their own facilities.

Download the free case study at

About Howard Leight®
Under the Howard Leight brand, Honeywell Safety Products is a leading global provider of passive and intelligent hearing protection solutions, and is the founder of the HearForever™ initiative.  For over 30 years, the company and its predecessors have pursued the prevention of occupational noise-induced hearing loss through innovation in hearing protection design, technology, performance and comfort, and the promotion of progressive Hearing Conservation Programs.  Leading solutions include the highest attenuating Max® single-use earplug; patented Air Flow Control™ technology for optimal earmuff attenuation; QuietDose™ personal in-ear dosimetry; and the industry-changing VeriPRO® earplug fit testing system. Visit the Howard Leight website at and follow us on Twitter at

About Honeywell
Honeywell International ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit

This release contains certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intends, expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based upon certain assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current economic and industry conditions, expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate. The forward-looking statements included in this release are also subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to economic, competitive, governmental, and technological factors affecting our operations, markets, products, services and prices. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those envisaged by such forward-looking statements.

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Howard Leight / Honeywell Safety Products is a leading global provider of passive and intelligent hearing protection solutions, and the founder of the HearForever™ initiative.
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