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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Costain choose hearing protection from Eave

Eave FocusLite hearing protection

Partnership kicks off with pilot for operatives working on A1 Scotswood to North Brunton scheme

INFRASTRUCTURE solutions company Costain have partnered with Eave to provide next-generation hearing protection for their operatives working on the widening of the A1 between Scotswood and North Brunton.

The project is part of a package of highways development schemes awarded to Costain by Highways England under its Regional Delivery Partnership (RDP) contract model.

The package forms part of the ‘RDP North’ and also includes projects to develop the A1 between Birtley and Coalhouse and in Northumberland.

Following a pilot at the Scotswood to North Brunton works, Costain plan to roll-out Eave’s hearing protection system across all three of their RDP North sites.

Costain operatives are currently working at night and progressing from north to south, often completing 80–100m of central reservation upgrades and 800–900m of resurfacing per shift.

Eave’s hearing protection system is said to be perfectly suited to Costain’s work on the A1, where ambient noise levels are high, worksites are constantly moving and potential hazards are shifting all the time.

The system consists of smart ear defenders, which continuously collect data on environmental noise and the wearer’s exposure to noise, beacons which work with the ear defenders to map worksite noise, and an online platform for viewing the data and gathering insights.

Costain will use these insights to protect and educate over-exposed workers, adjust working methods, and remove noise hazards at source.

Eave’s FocusLite ear defenders also promote situational awareness by allowing essential sounds to reach the wearer’s ears, even as harmful noise is blocked – a capability that is critical to the safety of highways workers, who face the ever-present risk of incursions from passing traffic.

Mal Shiels, framework SHE manager at Costain, commented: ‘We will always do everything we can to maintain the health and safety of our most valuable asset – the people working on our sites.

‘The data we get from Eave is invaluable, because it allows us to identify where and why operatives are being exposed to harmful noise, and design effective interventions to stop dangerous situations from recurring.

‘The Eave system is going to transform hearing protection at Costain, but even if our partnership prevents just one person from having a deterioration in their hearing, it will have been a success.’

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