What will the program achieve?
Research Goal 1.5 - Develop a Hearing Loss Simulator
Further dissemination and use of the simulator will be supported. The simulator was specifically designed so that additional noise sources could be added to the library of occupational noises in order to customize training and enhance relevance to specific audiences. The simulator is being adapted for use as a training tool that incorporates noises common to construction workers. Similar adaptations are expected to follow for shipbuilding and ship demolition noises. In the mining sector, future work will focus on enhancing the dissemination and impact of this tool. A booklet for trainers and users is nearing completion. This trainer’s guide will supplement the built-in documentation and show how the simulator can provide a motivational component in a comprehensive hearing loss training curriculum. The simulator will also play a key role in a new study on hearing loss prevention programs that use worker participation to identify and solve problems. The simulator will be used to empower the problem solving teams with information about the relationship between their typical noise exposures and predicted hearing losses. It is expected that new versions of the simulator will be developed in response to suggested enhancements from trainers and workers. For instance, a number of users have requested the addition of a tinnitus simulation to allow trainers to demonstrate the debilitating effects of this condition which frequently accompanies noise-induced hearing loss. A tinnitus simulator has already been developed as a stand alone training aid for the construction study, and can readily be incorporated into this tool.