Construction hearing protection tech set for wider take-up

The company behind a ‘smart’ hearing protection system already used by construction firms including Galliford Try Highways, the Costain-Skanska joint venture on HS2, Ferrovial, VolkerLaser, Skanska-Costain-Strabag, and BAM Nuttall, has raised £2m to fund its expansion.

Tech start-up Eave produces the FocusLite smart ear defenders, as well as Peak, a cloud-based risk monitoring and prevention platform.

The FocusLite headsets, which contain hear-through technology that allow workers to retain their situational awareness and communicate while still being protected from harmful sources of noise, gather real-time data on site noise. The data is fed to Peak, where it can be analysed by health and safety professionals and site managers to eliminate noise-related risk.

The system also allows managers monitor hearing protection wear rates and take action where headsets aren’t correctly fitted or being worn at all.

Eave was founded by clinical and research audiologist, Dr David Greenberg, in 2015, and received early-stage funding from and private investors. It is now receiving a further £2m investment from venture capital firm Pembroke VCT.

Greenberg said: “Noise-induced hearing loss is a huge problem – it’s the number one occupational disease in Europe and accounts for about a third of all work-related disease. It’s also extremely prevalent amongst construction workers. Our partnership with Pembroke VCT is incredibly exciting – because it will allow us to double down on our strategy of getting construction businesses to mandate active hearing protection with integrated noise monitoring across all their sites – and get us that bit closer to achieving our long-term goal of totally eliminating the loneliness and isolation caused by hearing loss.”

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