Every drilling project presents a unique set of challenges. In order to effectively deal with changing site conditions, maintain safety, and meet deadlines, drilling crews need to communicate in real time. Without it, delays and misunderstandings often lead to mistakes and accidents.
Challenge: Communication vs. Hearing Protection
Communicating on a job site involves two opposing needs: being heard and understood, and protection from the noise of dangerously loud equipment. There are a number of partial solutions that address only half of this dilemma.
Hearing protectors like earmuffs or earplugs block out noise, but make it impossible to communicate effectively. Removing hearing protection to enable communication can lead to hearing damage.
Communicating with hand signals can be easily misinterpreted and is dependent on line of sight – difficult to achieve around equipment and traffic. Continued shouting is stressful and fails if it cannot be heard. Two-way radios require taking your hand off controls to press and hold the push-to-talk button. Cell phone use distracts operators when eyes move away from gauges and attention wanders from the task at hand.
None of these traditional communication methods provide hearing protection for crew members in high-noise environments.
What about shutting down loud equipment? This solves noise and communication problems when workers are close by. However, distance remains a limiting factor. Also, frequent work stoppages lower productivity, efficiency, and increase wear and tear on machinery.
It’s a Catch-22 scenario: How can operators and locators communicate clearly while wearing effective hearing protection?
Benefits of Integrated Wireless Communication
Sonetics Portable Wireless Communication Systems combine hands-free, full-duplex communication with advanced hearing protection to let drilling crews communicate clearly and easily while protecting their hearing.
- Hands-free operation. DECT7® provides instant, simultaneous two-way communication, just like a mobile conference call, for crews of up to 20. The voice microphone is continuously live with no need to press and hold a push-to-talk button. Noise cancellation technology and automatic adjustments prevent background sound from being heard by other team members.
- Wireless mobility. Both the headsets and the portable ComHub are wireless, allowing crews to move freely around the work zone without being tethered to equipment. Components are battery operated and provide up to 24 hours of talk time.
- Advanced hearing protection. With a 24dB Noise Reduction Rating, Sonetics wireless headsets lower all outside sound to safe levels, preventing hearing damage and the risk of permanent hearing loss.
- Listen-Through technology. Many workers refuse to wear effective hearing protection due to fear of isolation. Sonetics wireless headsets feature Stereo Listen-Through microphones, providing users with situational awareness and hearing protection at the same time by combining outside sound with voice communication.
Drilling contractors look for every advantages to help them deliver the highest quality results on or ahead of schedule. Hands-free, wireless communication headsets with integrated hearing protection help drilling crews be more productive, operate at a higher level of safety, and reduce the stress that comes with daily high-noise exposure.
Click here to learn more about Sonetics wireless communication systems for the drilling industry.