Mining Publication: An Examination of Antecedents to Coal Miners' Hearing Protection Behaviors: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behavior
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's [NIOSH] National Occupational Research Agenda (DHHS Publication No. 96-115) reports that approximately 50% of miners will experience hearing loss by age 50, compared to only 9% of the general population. The present investigation examines three antecedents believed to be associated with miner's use of hearing protection. A posttest delayed posttest control group field research design was employed to assess antecedents toward wearing hearing protection. Following the initial posttest, miners' attitudes and subjective norms were antecedents to intentions to wear hearing protection devices. Also, intentions toward wearing hearing protection predicted hearing protection behaviors. Approximately six weeks later, miners' attitudes and perceived behavioral control were each significant predictors of intentions to wear hearing protection and again, intentions were positively associated with hearing protection behaviors. Our results indicate that appeals to normative influences may be the most effective antecedent to employ when persuading coal miners to wear hearing protection. However, messages designed to impact attitudes and perceived behavioral control were also effective.