Hearing protector use in noise exposed workers: a retrospective look at 1983.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2002 Mar/Apr; 63(2):199-204
Although hearing protectors have been available for more than 60 years, little field surveillance has been done to assess their appropriate wear in noisy occupational environments. This study examined historical field survey data to determine whether workers use hearing protection when exposed to loud noise. Data from the 1981-83 NIOSH National Occupational Exposure Survey were analyzed to determine whether workers in noise greater than or equal to 85 dBA were using hearing protection. The study also looked at the effect of company personal protective equipment (PPE) policies on hearing protector compliance. This study found that, in 1981-83, an estimated 4.1 million industrial workers were exposed to noise greater than or equal to 85 dBA. Of these, 41 % were wearing some form of hearing protection. This percentage varied from 79% of workers exposed in SIC 76 (Miscellaneous Repair Service) to less than 1% in Communications (SIC 48), Wholesale Trade Nondurable Goods (SIC 51), and Automotive Dealers & Service Stations (SIC 55). Whether an establishment had a written policy on wearing PPE seemed to make no difference, because there appeared to be no tie between the percentage of workers wearing of hearing protection and presence of a PPE policy.
Exposure-limits; Noise-exposure; Noise-analysis; Workers; Workplace-studies; Hearing-level; Hearing-protection; Hearing
NIOSH, Division of Applied Research and Technology; 4676 COlumbia Parkway, M/S C-27, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Disease and Injury: Hearing Loss
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal