Finally, before purchasing a system, physically try on one of the headsets. Because a headset will often be worn for hours at a time, it should be lightweight and fit snugly but comfortably over the ears. The controls should be simple and readily accessible, allowing hands-free operation. For maximum flexibility, make sure styles are available for wearing over the head, as well as under a hard hat.
Wireless headset systems are a safe and reliable method of ensuring clear communication in construction environments. As the newspapers all too often remind us, poor communication can lead to tragedy.
Reed Stager is the Chief Operating Officer of Sonetics Corp., a global supplier of team communication solutions for challenging environments. He can be reached at Reed.Stager@soneticscorp.com.
 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Common factors in forklift accidents. May 2, 2011.
 Poor communication faulted in Wyoming mine accident. Rapid City Journal. April 7, 2008.
 Jacobs Consultancy. Report of the independent review panel, San Bruno explosion, June 9, 2011.
 Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Fatal accident to passenger vehicle involving the ferry, “Queen of New Westminster,” Departure Bay, British Columbia, 13 August 1992. Report #M92W1057.