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NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program Review NIOSH Publications on Noise and Hearing The National Academies - Advisors to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

What has the program achieved?

In this section ....

Research Goal 1

Research Goal 2

Research Goal 3

Research Goal 4

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Outputs and Transfer - Research Goal 4.1:
Determine occupational noise exposure and hearing loss through national surveillance

The Michigan SENSOR program publishes reports annually and maintains a program Web site (http://oem.msu.edu/sensor.asp). In addition, details of its program have been published.[9] The Michigan SENSOR program is also the data source for monitoring occupational hearing loss in the “NIOSH Worker Health Chartbooks.”[10],[11]

“Expert system” software for cleaning audiometric databases has been developed and validated against individual audiogram review by audiologists. The software removes duplicate audiograms, lone audiograms which cannot be confirmed or  rejected by subsequent testing, audiograms with unsupportable test-to-test or frequency-to-frequency variation, and can be set to remove records for which other variables are missing or incorrect (such as audiograms with " No Response" thresholds, missing demographics such as gender or date of birth, and age above or below a given cut-point). The expert system has been incorporated into the HearSā f 2000™ suite of software which is marketed by the Hawkwa Group and by Safe@Work, Inc. The system was also used to clean the databases used to provide input to MSHA during the development of its noise standard, 30 CFR Part 62,[12],[13] OSHA during development of the hearing loss recordability regulation.8

Intermediate Outcomes
The HLR program worked with OSHA to make the regulations for reporting occupational hearing loss useful as a surveillance tool for significant threshold shifts. The OSHA 300 log is the document companies use to report occupational injuries and illness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish preliminary STS statistics from the OSHA 300 log for calendar year 2004 in November 2005 (http://www.bls.gov/iif/osh_nwrl.htm). These data will represent the first national statistics on the incidence of occupational hearing loss and will provide a valuable baseline from which progress in hearing loss prevention can be tracked.

Data from the OSHA 300 log will be used to evaluate the efficacy of current regulations and prevention practices, target and prioritize hearing conservation efforts, and permit individual employers to compare the performance of their hearing conservation program not merely against their own prior record, but also against the record of other employers within the same industry. Data from the OSHA 300 log will also be used to evaluate the success of the Healthy People 2010 goal 20-11: Reduce by 50% the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss.[14]

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Publications:
Journal Articles

NIOSH [2000]. NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Publication No. 2000-127.

NIOSH [2004]. NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Publication No. 2004-146.

Reilly MJ, Rosenman KD, Kalinowski DJ [1998]. Occupational noise-induced hearing loss surveillance in Michigan. J Occup Environ Med, 40(8):667-74.

Rosenman KD, Panasuk B [1992-2000; 2002]. 2001 Annual Report on Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Michigan.

Rosenman KD, Panasuk B [2002]. 2001 Annual Report on Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Michigan. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Available by request or on-line at http://oem.msu.edu/annualreports.asp.

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[9]Reilly MJ, Rosenman KD, Kalinowski DJ [1998]. Occupational noise-induced hearing loss surveillance in Michigan. J Occup Environ Med, 40(8):667-74.

[10] NIOSH [2000]. NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health , NIOSH Publication No. 2000-127

[11] NIOSH [2000]. NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health , NIOSH Publication No. 2004-146

[12] NIOSH [1996]. Analysis of Audiograms for a Large Cohort of Noise-Exposed Miners.'' Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, John Franks, pp. 1-7, August 6.

[13] NIOSH [1997]. “Prevalence of Hearing Loss for Noise-Exposed Metal/Nonmetal Miners.'' Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, John Franks, pp.1-5, October 7.

[14] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [2000] Healthy People 2010, 2nd ed. Volume II: Objectives for Improving Health Part B: Focus Areas 15-28. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2000.

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