Do You Hear What I Hear?

  Do You Hear What I Hear?

Cintas checklist helps businesses select an ideal hearing conservation partner

Business Wire

CINCINNATI -- December 18, 2012

From ringing bells to fireplace logs crackling, the sounds of the holiday
season are now in the air. However, for employees in loud workplaces, these
sentimental noises may become a faint memory of the past if the proper
precautions aren’t taken. To encourage businesses to develop and maintain
effective hearing protection programs, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS), a
leader in first-aid and safety products, has identified a checklist for
selecting a hearing conservation partner for testing, training and hearing
protection equipment.

“Unfortunately, hearing loss is an invisible threat within many workplace
environments,” said John Amann, Vice President, Cintas. “It’s important to
establish a comprehensive solution for hearing protection and partner with
experts who provide employers with helpful tools and knowledge. We’ve combined
our training and hearing protection equipment offerings with the on-site
testing expertise of accredited professionals from Examinetics to ensure
hearing conservation is an ongoing priority at work.”

The top must-have attributes for a hearing conservation partner include:

1. Industry knowledge: Partners should understand workplace hazards and be
positioned to share that expertise with customers’ employees through on-site
training sessions. For instance, many safety directors don’t realize that
employees typically wear too much hearing protection. This backfires because
employees either can’t hear, putting safety at risk, or remove earplugs or
earmuffs in order to hear, thus compromising hearing health. Research also
shows exposure to toxic agents such as carbon monoxide and organic solvents,
such as those found in paint thinners, can impact hearing, especially when
combined with noise. Partners with industry knowledge can share this
information with safety directors to encourage everyday safety.

2. Onsite testing: Offsite hearing testing can lead to reduced productivity
from workers and unnecessary stress for managers. Partners with mobile testing
units simplify the process by bringing testing directly to worksites. Onsite
testing also allows organizations to see results right away.

3. An extensive database: Since hearing loss is often gradual, it’s important
to track the progression of employees’ hearing health over time. Partners can
assist by using a secure database to keep baseline exam results on file to
compare with new test results. Employers should have 24/7 access to test
results and reports and understand how employee testing results compare to
industry standards.

4. Testing in a calibrated environment: In some cases, noises may disrupt the
accuracy of a hearing test. Hearing conservation partners can ensure results
are precise by continuously monitoring the test environment during testing.
This makes it easy to identify if a loud noise has compromised accuracy and
the worker needs to be retested.

5. Proper certifications: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
requires hearing testing to be conducted by an audiologist, physician or
technician. Preferably, technicians will be certified by the Council for
Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC). However, many
offsite clinics have high staff turnover rates and choose to forgo CAOHC
certification for employees. Individuals should have knowledge of OSHA, MSHA
(mining) and FRA (railroad) hearing regulations. Ideal partners will also
employ CAOHC-certified professional supervisors who have specific expertise in
hearing testing compliance.

6. Multilingual options: Testing needs to accommodate employees whose first
language is not English, so organizations should look for partners with
testing in alternate languages such as Spanish.

7. National reach: Consistent testing is important, especially for
organizations with locations that span across cities and states. Partners with
national reach can conduct testing at each location and compare results from
one area to another. This allows companies to determine which locations need
to improve hearing conservation efforts.

8. Personal protective equipment options: Personal protective equipment (PPE),
such as hearing earmuffs and earplugs, keeps employees safe in noisy
environments. A partner should be able to recommend the correct type of
protection, have a variety of options to fit different needs and people, and
regularly replenish inventory so stock is never low. This will ensure
employees have proper fitting and appropriate protection.

“A great hearing conservation program includes top-quality testing performed
under the direction of an experienced and certified supervisor,” said Cindy
Bloyer, manager of Audiology Services, Examinetics. “Combining this with
proper training and equipment means that workers will be able to hear
everything from job instructions to seasonal sounds for years to come.”

For more information on first-aid and safety solutions from Cintas, please
visit www.cintas.com/firstaidsafety.

About Cintas Corporation:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized
services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas
designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and
provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet
cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products
and services and document management services for more than 900,000
businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global
Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index.

Contact:

Mulberry Marketing Communications
Jess Messenger, 312-664-1532
jmessenger@mulberrymc.com