OCCUPATIONAL HEARING LOSS (OHL) SURVEILLANCE
Services (including Public Safety) Statistics
Noise Exposure1 and Hearing Protection2
- Approximately 11-34% of all workers in Services (21% overall) have been exposed to hazardous noise, depending on sub-sector. Sub-sectors with the highest percentage exposed were:
- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation (34%)
- Public Administration (including Public Safety) (28%)
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (28%)
- 22-56% of noise-exposed Services workers report not wearing hearing protection, depending on sub-sector. The sub-sectors with the most workers were:
- Educational Services (56%)
- Other Services (55%)
- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (54%)
- Repair and Maintenance (43%)
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
- Approximately 8-15% of all Services workers (10% overall) have hearing difficulty, depending on sub-sector.1
- About 6-10% of all Services workers have tinnitus, depending on sub-sector.3
- About 17% of noise-exposed tested Services workers have a material hearing impairment.4 Hearing impairment is hearing loss that impacts day-to-day activities.
- 13% of noise-exposed tested Services workers have hearing impairment in both ears.5
Trends Among Noise-Exposed Tested Services Workers (1981-2010)6
- The prevalence for Services decreased less than 1% over 30 years (1981-2010) as compared with a less than 1% reduction for all industries.
- The incidence for Services decreased 1% over 25 years (1986-2010) as compared with a 2% reduction for all industries.
- The adjusted risk for Services decreased 42% over 25 years (1986-2010) as compared with a 46% reduction for all industries.
Adapted from Figure 1, Masterson et al. 2015
Adapted from Figure 2, Masterson et al. 2015
Adapted from Figure 3, Masterson et al. 2015
- Kerns E, Masterson EA, Themann CL, & Calvert GM. (2018). Cardiovascular conditions, hearing difficulty and occupational noise exposure within U.S. industries and occupations. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 61, 477-491.
- Tak S, Davis RR, & Calvert GM. (2009). Exposure to hazardous workplace noise and use of hearing protection devices among US workers — NHANES, 1999-2004. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 52(5):358-371.
- Masterson EA, Themann CL, Luckhaupt SE, Li J, & Calvert GM. (2016). Hearing difficulty and tinnitus among U.S. workers and non-workers in 2007. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 59, 290-300.
- Sekhon NK, Masterson EA, & Themann CL. (in press). Prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed workers within the Services Sector, 2006-2015. International Journal of Audiology.
- Masterson EA, Bushnell PT, Themann CL, & Morata TC. (2016). Hearing impairment among noise-exposed workers — United States, 2003–2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(15), 389-394.
- Masterson EA, Deddens JA, Themann CL, Bertke S., & Calvert GM. (2015). Trends in worker hearing loss by industry sector, 1981-2010. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58, 392-401.