Exposure to hazardous workplace noise and use of hearing protection devices among US workers - NHANES, 1999-2004.
Tak-S; Davis-RR; Calvert-GM
Am J Ind Med 2009 May; 52(5):358-371
Background: To estimate the prevalence of workplace noise exposure and use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) at noisy work, NIOSH analyzed 1999-2004 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Methods: A total of 9,275 currently employed workers aged 16 years were included in the weighted analysis. Hazardous workplace noise exposure was defined as self-reported exposure to noise at their current job that was so loud that the respondent had to speak in a raised voice to be heard. Industry and occupation were determined based on the respondent's current place and type of work. Results: Twenty-two million US workers (17%) reported exposure to hazardous workplace noise. The weighted prevalence of workplace noise exposure was highest for mining (76%, SE = 7.0) followed by lumber/wood product manufacturing (55%, SE = 2.5). High-risk occupations included repair and maintenance, motor vehicle operators, and construction trades. Overall, 34% of the estimated 22 million US workers reporting hazardous workplace exposure reported non-use of HPDs. The proportion of noise-exposed workers who reported non-use of HPDs was highest for healthcare and social services (73.7%, SE = 8.1), followed by educational services (55.5%). Discussion: Hearing loss prevention and intervention programs should be targeted at those industries and occupations identified to have a high prevalence of workplace noise exposure and those industries with the highest proportion of noise-exposed workers who reported non-use of HPDs.
Noise-exposure; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Mining-industry; Lumber-industry; Woodworking-industry; Construction-industry; Motor-vehicles; Drivers; Hearing-protection; Hearing-conservation; Hearing-loss; Noise-induced-hearing-loss;
Author Keywords: noise-induced hearing loss; industry; occupation; national estimates; surveillance; national survey
SangWoo Tak, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-17, Cincinnati, OH 45226
American Journal of Industrial Medicine