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Perspectives on "Efficacy of the U.S. Army policy on hearing conservation programs."
Stephenson-MR; Byrne-DC; Ohlin-DW; Murphy-WJ; Chandler-DW; Davis-RR; Allen-JR; Danielson-RW
Mil Med 2010 Jan; 175(1):xii-xvi
The purpose of this article was to respond to a previously published article in Military Medicine by Drs. Oestenstad, Norman, and Borton, "Efficacy of the U.S. Army Policy on Hearing Conservation Programs" (Volume 173, No. 10, pp. 992-998). Using data collected from 45 civilian workers at the Anniston U.S. Army Depot, they concluded that the U.S. Army hearing conservation program would be better served by adopting a permissible exposure limit of 90 dBA with a 5-dB exchange rate. This article evaluated the methods, assumptions, and analyses employed by Oestenstad et al. to arrive at their conclusions. Specifically, we identified and discussed (1) shortcomings in the study design employed by Oestenstad et al., (2) errors in their application of ANSI S3.44, and (3) analytical and procedural errors in determining noise-induced permanent threshold shifts of their study population. We therefore, disagree with the conclusions put forth by Oestenstad et al. We believe that the Anniston U.S. Army Depot has not unnecessarily enrolled workers in its hearing conservation program. Moreover, we believe that the U.S. Army is well served by its current policy of using a 3-dB exchange rate and an 85-dB permissible exposure limit.
Hearing-conservation; Hearing-loss; Hearing-protection; Hearing; Noise-exposure; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-protection; Standards; Work-practices
Issue of Publication
OH; MD; DC; TX
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division