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Communication channels and noise-induced hearing loss in the agriculture industry.

Sublet-V; Lum-M
Future of Rural Peoples: Rural Economy, Healthy People, Environment, Rural Communities, Fifth International Symposium. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: IAREH. Institute of Agricultural Rural and Environmental Health, 2003 Oct; :W14-W15
Approximately 3 million workers in the United States (U.S.) are exposed to hazardous noise on the job. Although noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable, this disease is one of the most prevalent occupational diseases in the U.S. and the second highest self-reported workplace injury and illness. The loss of hearing prevents communication with others, impacts self-esteem, and decreases the person's interaction with their environment. Because workers in a significant number of industries are at high risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss, a study was conducted for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which focused on the agriculture industry. The objective of the research was to identify the most effective resources that motivate farmers to become more aware and more proactive regarding this disease. The ultimate goal was to reduce or prevent noise exposure and the resulting loss of hearing. Qualitative research methods were used to conduct the study. Focus groups and individual interviews were carried out with experts in the farming industry to obtain information about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes. They were queried about the most effective communication channels and the kind of messages that get the attention of farmers. Other issues explored were the most significant occupational diseases in the agriculture industry, noise-induced hearing loss as an occupational health hazard in farming, and where noise is a problem in the farm environment. This presentation will discuss the methods used to identify the target audience, insights provided by this qualitative research such as the channels and message content preferred by respondents, and the suggested format.
Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Farmers; Occupational-hazards; Health-hazards; Occupational-diseases; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Environmental-factors
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
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Future of Rural Peoples: Rural Economy, Healthy People, Environment, Rural Communities, Fifth International Symposium