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A project to evaluate the role positive and negative emotion plays in promoting hearing conservation behaviors among coal miners.

Witte-K; Vaught-C; Stephenson-M
ICOH 2002 Oct; :81-82
The goal of this project, which is in the data collection phase, is to study the role of positive emotion in health communications, specifically in encouraging the adoption of hearing protection behaviors among coal miners. Coal miners are a population of particular interest for the present study. Twenty-five percent of the nation's miners continue to work in an environment where time-weighted average noise levels exceed 90 dBA. Although these noise levels are subject to regulation by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, enforcement of hearing protector use by underground miners is difficult to achieve. In addition to the enforcement issue, many miners do not appreciate that removing hearing protection for 15 minutes of an 8-hour work shift can cut protection effectiveness in half. By age 64,80% of coal miners will have moderate to profound hearing loss, compared to only 20% of those non-occupationally exposed to noise. It is therefore apparent that among occupational groups, coal miners are at particularly high risk of losing their hearing. As this is one of the first studies of its kind on inducing positive emotion in an experimental intervention, extensive pilot-testing and message validation has been undertaken to ensure that each message varies only on the dimensions of emotion, and assess whether both positive and negative emotions vary in ways other than in intensity.
Coal-miners; Coal-mining; Hearing-protection; Hearing-tests; Hearing-loss; Hearing-level; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-conservation; Miners; Mining-industry; Work-environment; Noise-levels; Protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Attitude; Behavior-patterns
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
Best Practices in Occupational Safety and Health, Education, Training, and Communication: Ideas That Sizzle, 6th International Conference, Scientific Committee on Education and Training in Occupational Health, ICOH, In Cooperation with The International Communication Network, ICOH, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, October 28-30, 2002
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division