Ear protection for work with HA's

Looking a bit of advice on suitable ear muffs to use in noisy factory floor.
Company enforces use of hearing protection but only provide either standard ear muffs or ear buds.
As ear buds are unsuitable for me as I wear RIC aids, I am also having problems with using ear muffs which reduces my ability to hear people talking to almost zero. I am also unable to hear the radio at work, it sounds badly muffled and also I am unable to hear fire alarm when wearing ear muffs.
To communicate at work I have to move ear muffs back slightly and find myself leaving ear muffs in that position all day which defeats the purpose of wearing them in the first place.
Have to meet Health and Safety manager on Wednesday and would like to able to go in with an idea of what exactly I need to be provided with.
Many thanks in advance.

This is a good question. I sometimes go into engine rooms, which are noisy and require hearing protection. I’ve never had very good luck wearing ear muff style hearing protection over hearing aids, due to feedback. (I could just take out my right hearing aid and I would be fine, but HSE people wouldn’t see the humour in that.)

@darylm yeah I have setting on HA that cuts out all background and feedback but not great for hearing sounds though. HSE dont seem to understand what reduced hearing really means and blanket treating everyone brings up its own problems with HA wearers likes of ourselves.

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I worked a BP refining prior to 2000. We used radios that were clipped to your belt and microphone clipped to our shirt under our chin. A set of speaker ear muffs were plugged into the radio. This served as hearing protection and radio communication. The fire alarm also came through this radio, all refinery frequencies.
I didn’t wear aids at that time but they would have fit under the muffs.
It was a system used for better communication and safety.

You might want to look at posts by efigalaxie and focusandearnit. The former works in a steel mill, the latter in a noisy operating room at times. They have both ended up using Roger Pen systems (remote microphones) in conjunction with their HA’s. There are also over-the-ear muffs that can let speech through in a quiet environment but close down when more serious noise is present. Even normal hearing folks might need remote microphones, etc., in very noisy environment both for ear protection considerations and just to avoid the overpowering level of noise drowning out speech.

Just a word of caution. I was wearing standard ear muffs at the church doing yard work one morning while leaf blowing and mowing. I took them off several times. When we were all done I noticed one of my HAs was missing. We never found it, even with a metal detector.

Good advice! Some HA’s do have a “Find My HA” functionality that is bi-modal. If you have GPS turned on on your phone and you are connected to your HA’s through your phone, on a grand scale, the HA app will constantly log GPS coordinates of where your HA was last seen. On a finer scale, when you are in the vicinity of your HA’s and they still have battery life, you will establish a BT connection to your phone and a meter strength indicator in your HA phone app will indicate whether you are getting “hot” or “cold” as you move towards or move away from the HA location.

ReSound is proud enough of their HA locator in some online blog they have the story of someone who lost a HA wildly cheering at an NFL football game. They went home and hours later realized, “Oops! HA MIA!” With the help of the stadium, they went back scoured their seating area. No luck. But they hit paydirt when they went by a waste bin and a Find My HA alert kicked in on the finer scale. The cleaning crew had faithfully swept up all debris and dumped the HA in a stadium waste container. So the HA survived but not all stories are likely to have such a happy ending.

I’m not going to push my luck but my ReSound Quattros are so firmly stuck in my ears that donning and removing stuff I’ve knocked them from behind my ear lobes a number of times (relative few times relative to donning and removing overall) and have yet to have them come out of my ears. Must be something about the way ReSound designs its custom molds. Here’s a link to a picture of one mold with commentary about why I think it stays in so well. The comment following mine by @MFAUD suggests other ways to make sure your HA stays put as much as possible.