Galliford Try Infrastructure implement Smart Alert and Reactec Analytics

Preventing noise-induced hearing loss at work

Case study - Noise

Galliford Try Infrastructure adopts Smart Alert to prevent noise-induced hearing loss

Galliford Try Infrastructure has mandated the use of integrated hearing protection technology to protect their employees from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) at work.

While noise-induced hearing loss is not recognised as a reportable RIDDOR, Galliford Try is a people-oriented and progressive business that is dedicated towards implementing new technologies to protect their teams.

The Challenge

As one of the UK’s leading construction businesses, Galliford Try teams work in some of the country’s most fast-paced, dynamic building and infrastructure environments where exposure to noise needs to be managed.

The challenge for Galliford Try Infrastructure was to understand actual noise exposure across these different operating environments. Mark Bridges, Head of Health Safety & Environmental (HS&E) for Galliford Try Infrastructure explained:

“We perform regular noise assessments based on the tools used by the worker, including the surrounding operating environment they were working in. It was important for us to understand the risk of ambient noise exposure, after a worker finished using a tool, to determine if they were still at risk”.

“We created noise profiles based on specific project environments. That helped us to understand the risk of teams working near a busy motorway, for example, and instruct workers to wear hearing protection in that environment”.

Traditional types of hearing protection, such as ear-defenders or earmuffs, can hinder communication between co-workers onsite.

Ear-defenders can also affect the spatial awareness of a worker. This makes them less aware of their surroundings and more susceptible to other operating hazards, including dangerous proximity to mobile plant and moving vehicles.

For these reasons, workers often remove their hearing protection once finished operating tools and become inadvertently exposed to ambient noise.

The Solution

Galliford Try Infrastructure manage workplace risks by using data to set health and safety targets.

Mark explained: “We use predictive analytics under a process called ‘Predict and Prevent’, where we use data to identify workplace risks from the previous year and set targets to reduce them further”.

“This approach can involve introducing new technology with data analytics to tackle these operating risks, and this led to the decision from Galliford Try Infrastructure to mandate the use of integrated noise monitoring technology”.

The mandate requires the use of hearing technology that could enable adequate ‘hear-through’ capability, whilst providing adequate protection, and analytics of the in-ear noise levels to help develop the continuous improvement KPI’s and monitor wear-rates.

Galliford Try Infrastructure engaged with several industrial noise monitoring specialists to source hearing protection technology that could meet mandate criteria to:

  • Provide real-time alerts to employees
  • Record valuable data on wear-rates to monitor compliance
  • Identify high-risk noise environments to help implement controls

Reactec and Minuendo Partnership:

Galliford Try Infrastructure trialled new hearing protection technology from Minuendo, branded Smart Alert, during work on the South-East Aylesbury Link Road in July 2022.

Smart Alert is a revolutionary hearing protection wearable. The technology measures ambient noise, using a collar-worn sensor, and monitors the level of sound entering each ear of a user with a sensor mounted within the device earplugs.

Smart Alert earplugs have patented ‘Listen-through’ technology, which protects the wearer from harmful background noise, but also allows them to communicate effectively with co-workers - without the need to remove hearing protection.

Reactec has partnered with Minuendo to help employers prevent noise-induced hearing loss in their workforce by personalising the noise data gathered by Smart Alert and providing intuitive analytics.

By combining data gathered by Smart Alert with the Reactec’s cloud-based Analytics software, employers can gain an in-depth understanding of their teams’ exposure to noise and help identify ‘at-risk’ workers by making timely interventions to refine controls. The noise data can also be overlaid with a worker’s exposure to vibration if they have also been provided with Reactec’s vibration monitoring technology.

Smart Alert Trial:

During the trial, Smart Alert successfully alerted teams from Galliford Try Infrastructure working at the Aylesbury Link infrastructure project when they were operating in a high-risk noise environment. The teams also found that they were able to communicate effectively whilst wearing Smart Alert, while remaining protected at all times.

A combination of Smart Alert’s comfortable design and listen-through technology helped increase user-adoption onsite.

The workers trialling Smart Alert mentioned that the technology was really comfortable to wear. Teams found that Smart Alert technology was more light-weight in comparison to a competitor’s noise monitoring technology they had previously worn.

At the end of the shift, Supervisors were able to use Reactec Analytics to report on which workers had worn Smart Alert, and for how long, based on wear rates. They could also identify which workers were most at risk from noise-induced hearing loss and make timely interventions.

“Smart Alert with the Reactec Analytics gave us the continuous noise monitoring that we needed to protect our teams. The vibration alert prompted workers to wear the device, proactively, when noise levels in the operating environment suddenly became too loud”.

Mark Bridges, Head of Health Safety & Environmental (HS&E), Galliford Try Infrastructure


Galliford Try Infrastructure rolled out the use of Minuendo’s Smart Alert technology to employees and contractors across other sites in January 2023.

Supervisors and dedicated team members regularly review the noise exposure data in the Reactec Analytics to ensure workers remain protected.

Mark added: “Galliford Try is dedicated to a culture of inclusion and diversity as we feel it enriches our business. We’re a people-orientated business and we found that technologies like Smart Alert can provide hearing protection to workers of the Sikh faith who wear turbans onsite, and this prevents them wearing over the head ear-defenders”.

“With Smart Alert and Reactec Analytics, I’m confident we now have a more proactive warning system, rather than a reactive management system, to control exposure to noise across our sites and protect all our people”.

Mark Bridges, Head of Health Safety & Environmental (HS&E), Galliford Try Infrastructure

Contact Us

For further information on how Smart Alert can prevent noise-induced hearing loss at work, contact a member of the Reactec team today:

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