Prevalence of Hearing Protection Device Non-Use among Noise-exposed U.S. Workers in 2007 and 2014
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Prevalence of Hearing Protection Device Non-Use among Noise-exposed U.S. Workers in 2007 and 2014

Filetype[PDF-344.21 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Am J Ind Med
    • Description:

      This study estimated the prevalence of hearing protection device (HPD) non-use among US workers exposed to hazardous workplace noise and provided risk estimates.


      Self-reported data from the National Health Interview Survey in 2007 (15,852 workers) and 2014 (23,656 workers) were examined. Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios of HPD non-use (using HPDs half the time or less when exposed to hazardous noise) were estimated by demographic, industry and occupation. Differences in the prevalences of non-use were estimated and compared.


      The prevalence of HPD non-use was 53% among all noise-exposed workers in 2014. Workers in the Accommodation and Food Services industry had the highest prevalence (90%) and risk (PR: 2.47, 95% CI: 1.54-3.96) of HPD non-use. The industries with the lowest prevalences of noise exposure, including Finance and Insurance (2%) and Health Care and Social Assistance (4%), had some of the highest prevalences of HPD non-use (80% and 83%, respectively). There were no statistically significant changes in HPD non-use among industries between 2007 and 2014. Among occupations, HPD non-use increased 37% in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media, and decreased 39% in Architecture and Engineering.


      The prevalence of HPD non-use remains high; especially within industries and occupations with fewer noise-exposed workers. These groups need targeted attention to increase awareness and compliance. Employers should require HPD use and trainings among noise-exposed workers and provide an assortment of HPDs tailored to noise level and type, workplace environment, communication and audibility needs, and individual comfort and convenience.

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