Communication within the approach boundaries

#1
I recall a time after break when I forgot to turn on the fan on my arc hood and my "anti-fog" face shield fogged up immediately. Even though the server room itself was 70 degrees my body heat is in that suit and the result is always a fogged up face shield. I tried calling attention to my co-worker so I could ask him to turn on my fan but we could not hear each other because we're wearing hearing protection and the room itself was noisy. What I ended up doing was tapping him on the shoulder, giving hand gestures pointing to my fan and the fog on my shield then he turned it on.

As a trainer I hear this issue but it doesn't ever seem to be address and I believe the lack of communication presents a hazard. How will I tell someone not to touch that? Hand me an 1/2" allen wrench? Did you torque these breakers?....I hope you get the idea. Even in a room with complete silence wouldn't be any better, you have hearing protection on! Most people in my classes mention that the sound levels in switchgear rooms, MCCs, and mechanical rooms, for example, are really noisy.

I was in an industrial hygiene class last week, we were discussing PELs then we went in to hearing and NRRs then this hazard came to mind. After speaking with other safety professionals I learned that there are many options for hearing protection/bluetooth devices available. I was wondering if you all have had this concern/question brought up and if so, what solutions have you come up with? I did some research and found this item (two items attached). What do you think? Would these be acceptable? Do you have any suggestions?

I feel like it is acceptable per NFPA 70E standards. A reference I found would be NFPA 70E (2018), 130.7(C)(12), Exception No. 2: Where the work to be performed inside the arc flash boundary exposes the worker to multiple hazards, such as airborne contaminants, and the risk assessment identifies that the level of protection is adequate to address the arc flash hazard, non-arc rated PPE shall be permitted.
 

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