2013-06-01 12:00 - Messages

Prevalence of hearing loss in the United States by industry

Background Twenty-two million workers are exposed to hazardous noise in the United States. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among U.S. industries. Methods We examined 2000–2008 audiograms for male and female workers ages 18–65, who had higher occupational noise exposures than the general population. Prevalence and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) for hearing loss were estimated and compared across industries.
Results In our sample, 18% of workers had hearing loss. When compared with the Couriers and Messengers industry sub-sector, workers employed in Mining (PR = 1.65, CI = 1.57–1.73), Wood Product Manufacturing (PR = 1.65, CL = 1.61–1.70), Construction of Buildings (PR = 1.52, CI = 1.45–1.59), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (PR = 1.59, CL = 1.51–1.68) had higher risks for hearing loss. Conclusions Workers in the Mining, Manufacturing, and Construction industries need better engineering controls for noise and stronger hearing conservation strategies. More hearing loss research is also needed within traditional “low-risk” industries like Real Estate.

Source : Masterson, E. A., Tak, S., Themann, C. L., Wall, D. K., Groenewold, M. R., Deddens, J. A. and Calvert, G. M. (2013) . Am. J. Ind. Med., 56: 670–681. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22082

NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™: The Future is Fit-Testing

For workers and others who are exposed to dangerously loud noises which cannot be reduced or eliminated, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are absolutely necessary to save their hearing.  But if HPDs are not properly selected or correctly worn, the devices may not block out enough noise and the wearer may still risk a loss of hearing.  How can a person tell if their HPDs are fit correctly?  A new development from NIOSH – HPD Well-FitTM – can quickly and inexpensively test the performance of hearing protection.  This fit testing technology is a huge advancement in efforts to save workers' hearing.   

Source : http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2013/05/well-fit/

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