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Evaluation of additional criteria for significant threshold shift in occupational hearing conservation programs.

Royster JD
Environmental Noise Consultants, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina 1996 Aug; :1-25
As a supplement to a study of significant threshold shift (STS) criteria completed in 1992, two additional shift criteria were analyzed. Analyses were restricted to the first eight audiograms for male employees with at least eight tests. This involved a total of 2,903 employees across all fifteen datasets. The two STS criteria examined were called OSHA STS TWICE, and 15 decibels (dB) TWICE at 1 to 4 kilohertz (kHz). The first monitored a change of 10dB or more in the average of hearing thresholds at 2,000, 3,000, and 4,000 hertz (Hz) and persistence on the next audiogram. The second involved a change of 15dB or more at any test frequency from 1,000 through 4,000Hz and persistence on the next audiogram. The two criteria produced smaller percentages of employees tagged per year than any of the previously evaluated criteria. The 15dB TWICE criteria yield the overall highest percentages of true positive tags. The OSHA STS TWICE criterion achieved a higher percentage after positive tags in the control databases only, but its percent true positive tags in the noncontrol database was lower than for either of the 15dB TWICE criteria. When tags for all databases were pooled, the improvement of OSHA STS TWICE over OSHA STS was noted. The two 15dB TWICE criteria, however, yielded the highest percentages of true positive tags, with slightly higher results for the criterion 15 dB TWICE at 1 to 4kHz.
NIOSH-Purchase-Order; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Sensory-thresholds; Hearing-tests; Hearing-threshold; Hearing-acuity; Occupational-exposure
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Environmental Noise Consultants, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Page last reviewed: October 16, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division