Impact of Daily Noise Exposure Monitoring on Occupational Noise Exposures in Manufacturing Workers
Published Date:Feb 2013
Source:Int J Audiol. 52(0 1):S3-S8.
Ear Protective Devices
Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced
United States Occupational Safety And Health Administration
Funding:1 R01 OH008641-01A2/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
R01 AG026291/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
Despite the use of hearing protective devices (HPDs), noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) remains one of the most prevalent occupational conditions. A new technology allows for daily monitoring of noise exposures under HPDs. We report on an intervention employing the voluntary use of this technology in a worksite setting.
Volunteers were fitted with a device allowing them to monitor noise exposure under their hearing protection on a daily basis. The trends in noise exposures for individuals who completed at least six months of the intervention were analyzed.
Recruitment occurred at three manufacturing facilities, with 127 workers enrolling and 66 workers actively using the device during their work shifts.
Among volunteers downloading regularly, the percentage of daily exposures in excess of the OSHA action level (85dBA) decreased from 14% to 8%, while the percentage of daily exposures in excess of 90dBA decreased from 4% to less than 2%.
Initial results from this longitudinal study indicate that volunteers find daily noise exposure monitoring to be feasible, and that workers who monitor daily are able to reduce exposures. The results of subject adherence shed light on the challenges and possibilities of worksite interventions for health and safety.
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