This study examined the reasons offered by rotogravure printing workers from Sau Paulo, Brazil, for not consistently using hearing protectors. The study group was comprised of 124 workers exposed to various levels of noise. Data on work history, phychosocial aspects of their job, medical history, present health, stress, occupational and non-occupational exposures to noise or chemicals and lifestyle factors were collected through an interview. The participants underwent pure-tone audiometry and had their noise exposures assessed. Seventy-nine workers of a total of 124 noise-exposed (64%) indicated that they wore hearing protectors, but only 16 (20%) of that subgroup stated that they wore the device all the time when noise-exposed. The variables significantly associated with the decision for not consistently wearing hearing protectors included interference with communication, interference with job performance, comfort issues, and self-perception of hearing condition.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, 4676 Columbia Parkway/ MS C27 Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998 USA