Noise exposure and hearing conservation practices in an industry with high incidence of workers' compensation claims for hearing loss.
Daniell-WE; Swan-SS; McDaniel-MM; Stebbins-JG; Seixas-NS; Morgan-MS
Am J Ind Med 2002 Oct; 42(4):309-317
Washington State has experienced a striking increase in workers' compensation claims for hearing loss. This cross-sectional study examined noise exposures and hearing conservation practices in one industry with a high rate of hearing loss claims. We evaluated 10 representative foundries with personal noise dosimetry, management interviews, employee interviews, and existing audiometry. Noise levels routinely exceeded 85 dBA. All companies were out of compliance with hearing conservation regulations. Most employees with important findings on audiograms were not aware of their findings. There was a significant positive correlation between management-interview scores and worksite-average employee-interview scores (r = 0.70, P = 0.02). Companies where more effort is put into hearing conservation program activities can achieve a greater positive impact on employee awareness. However, there were broad deficiencies even in the better programs in this sample, suggesting that workers in this industry probably face a continuing substantial risk of occupational hearing loss.
Occupational-health; Hearing-loss; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Workers; Worker-health; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Epidemiology; Occupational-diseases; Hearing-protection; Noise; Statistical-analysis; Hearing-conservation
William E. Daniell, Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington, Box 357234, Seattle, WA 98195-7234
Disease and Injury: Hearing Loss
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington