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Retrospective occupational exposure assessment using task-based noise exposure methods.

Prince-M; Franks-J; Hulea-R; Anderson-R; James-R; Roherer-D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :43
As part of a NIOSH pilot study examining factors affecting hearing conservation program (HCP) effectiveness, historical noise measurement data from three manufacturing plants (two auto, one food processing) were used to develop a retrospective noise exposure matrix to examine changes in noise levels over time and how this relates to risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The following data were obtained from the three plants to develop the noise exposure matrix: 1) task-based sound level survey data; 2) noise exposure data (dosimetry and sound level surveys) provided from plant historical reports; 3) information on plant-specific process changes and engineering controls; 4) interviews with plant personnel (in engineering and safety departments); and 5) detailed work history data from personnel records for each employee in the plant HCP. The exposure matrices were developed by linking 17,500 job exposure profiles and 130,000 work history records on more than 10,000 employees (with 81,000 audiograms). Present and past sound level data and process design and engineering changes were used to reconstruct representative noise exposure over time for each job type within a department. Exposure estimates for specific job codes were based on either: 1) task-based exposure assessment measures (T-BEAM) collected during the 1990s; 2) historical plant records of dosimetry and sound level data that could be used to reconstruct task-based job exposure profiles; or 3) expert industrial hygiene/engineering judgment based on knowledge of job tasks, ambient plant conditions, and worker mobility. T-BEAM noise exposure measures will be used in epidemiologic studies of NlHL risk and in the evaluation of HCP effectiveness. The T-BEAM approach is also useful in: 1) describing the distribution of noise exposure within jobs; 2) modeling changes in noise exposures over time; and 3) identifying plant areas to be targeted for feasibility studies of engineering and/or administrative controls.
Hearing-conservation; Noise; Noise-measurement; Exposure-assessment; Noise-exposure; Industrial-exposures; Industrial-health-programs; Noise-levels; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Automotive-industry; Food-processing-industry; Risk-analysis; Job-analysis; Sound; Dosimetry; Audiological-testing; Data-processing; Engineering; Engineering-controls
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division