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The need for and benefits of audiometric data base analysis.

SV. Sound Vib 1989 Dec; 23(12):14-16
The need for and benefits of using audiometric data base analyses (ADBA) in hearing conservation programs were discussed. The need for ADBA was considered. Some noise exposed employees are losing their hearing despite implementation of hearing conservation programs at their workplace and full compliance with OSHA regulations. Audiometric testing by itself cannot preserve hearing. Wearing hearing protective devices does not protect against noise induced hearing loss unless they are fitted and worn properly. It was noted that there is very little professional guidance on what constitutes an effective hearing conservation program and OSHA did not provide a very strong stimulus for developing and implementing effective hearing conservation programs. Enforcement of OSHA noise exposure standards was very weak due to staff reductions and use of a targeting policy. OSHA asked for comments on the use of audiometric analysis as an indicator of the effectiveness of hearing conservation programs in August 1981; however, no further steps had been taken. The author indicated that at present any efforts to promote or standardize the effectiveness of hearing conservation programs will have to come from the professional community rather than from the regulatory process. The benefits of ADBA were discussed. These included providing a stimulus for identifying and improving poor hearing conservation programs, comparing features of hearing conservation programs for different populations, providing a source of satisfaction and potential reward for effective programs, being a source of education and motivation, promoting cost effectiveness, and providing responsible persons with objective data on which to base decisions on hearing conservation.
Information-systems; Legislation; Audiometry; Occupational-health-programs; Hearing-protection; Occupational-exposure; Noise-induced-hearing-loss
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SV. Sound and Vibration