Hearing protection - 278 entries found
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Depczynski J., Challinor K., Fragar L.
Changes in the hearing status and noise injury prevention practices of Australian farmers from 1994 to 2008
This study compares the hearing status and behaviours in 1994-2001 and in 2002-2008 among a population of Australian 8309 farmers having participated in a noise injury prevention programme. Each participant was subjected to an audiometry and responded to a questionnaire. Over this period, there was a 12.5% overall improvement in the proportion of farmers with normal hearing in left ears and significant improvements in the mean hearing threshold of both ears from 1 to 6 kHz. The mean hearing thresholds for 35- to 44-year-old farmers exposed to firearms, chainsaws, workshop tools, heavy machinery and tractors were significantly higher compared to non-exposed groups. The non-use of hearing protection devices by young farmers (15 to 24 years old) was associated with hearing loss for those using un-cabined tractors. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2011, Vol.16, No.2, p.127-142. Illus. 16 ref.
Noise nuisance - Spare your ears
Nuisances sonores - Epargnez vos oreilles! [in French]
In France, occupational hearing loss is ranked fourth in terms of occupational disease frequency in the construction sector, after MSDs. The construction sector is the most affected, after metalworking industries. This article summarizes the main hazards due to exposure to noise at the place of work (hearing loss, irritability, cardiovascular disorders, sleep disorders), together with the appropriate prevention measures (selection of low-noise equipment, limitation of exposure, supply of personal protective equipment, information and training of employees).
Prévention BTP, Apr. 2011, No.140, p.46-48. Illus.
Effects of a low intensity intervention to increase hearing protector use among noise-exposed workers
Farm operators experience exposure to high noise and high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss, but use of hearing protection in this worker group is low. The purpose of this study was to test a brief intervention to increase farm operators' use of hearing protection. A random sample of 32 members of a farmers' organization was supplied a variety of hearing protectors. Participants received an assortment of hearing protectors by mail with manufacturer's instructions for use. Mean pre-intervention hearing protector use when in high noise in this group was 23%. Of the 32 participants, 27 were exposed to hazardous noise during the study period. Post-intervention mean use of HPDs was 64%, an increase of 41%. Results of this study suggest that overall, hearing protectors were acceptable to farm operators, and that a brief mailed intervention is feasible.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.210-215. Illus. 34 ref.
And the band played on
The BBC employs 450 instrumentalists and singers, together with a large pool of freelance musicians who are engaged on specific projects. Performing musicians are exposed to various occupational hazards, particularly to the risks of noise-induced hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders. This article describes the occupational safety and health efforts of the BBC to evaluate and limit exposure to occupational hazards and to provide training and information to the musicians.
Safety and Health Practitioner, Aug. 2010, Vol.28, No.8, p.39-40. Illus. 2 ref.
Shanks E., Patel J.
Health and Safety Executive
Market surveillance of custom-moulded earplugs
Earplugs are available that are custom-moulded to the shape of an individual's ears. Such earplugs when used as personal protective equipment in the workplace can offer a longer life span, potential cost savings to employers and, it is often claimed, an improved level of protection and comfort compared to other forms of hearing protection. Five models of custom-moulded earplugs available in the United Kingdom were tested on six or seven individuals in order to examine the protection provided by such devices, and to identify any influencing factors on protection, comfort and fit. Apart from one poorly-performing earplug, the plugs provided attenuation (SNR values) in the range 16 to 24 decibels. Levels of protection for all plugs were lower than indicated by manufacturers, and statistical analysis suggested that three of the earplug models were not adequately represented by the manufacturer's attenuation data. There was no evidence to support the view that custom-moulded earplugs provide improved levels of protection compared to other forms of hearing protection. When checked against the labelling and information requirements of the relevant product standard, BS EN 352-2:2002, only one of the models completely satisfied the requirements of the standard. A variety of information was missing including attenuation data and fitting instructions.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. vi, 45p. Illus. 9 ref.
Market_surveillance_of_custom-moulded_earplugs_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Tak S., Davis R.R., Calvert G.M.
Exposure to hazardous workplace noise and use of hearing protection devices among US workers - NHANES, 1999-2004
The objective of this study was to analyze the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data collected by the NIOSH from 1999 to 2004 to estimate the prevalence of workplace noise exposure and use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) at noisy work. 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. Of the 9,275 workers included in the analysis, 1,462 (15.8%) reported hazardous workplace noise exposure at their current job. Overall, 22 million US workers (17%) reported exposure to hazardous workplace noise. The weighted prevalence of workplace noise exposure was highest for mining (76%) followed by lumber/wood product manufacturing (55%). High-risk occupations included repair and maintenance, motor vehicle operators, and construction trades. Overall, 34% of the estimated 22 million United States 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%), followed by educational services (55.5%). Hearing loss prevention and intervention programmes 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.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2009, Vol.52, p.358-371. Illus. 40 ref.
Kotarbińska E., Canetto P.
Special issue on noise exposure and hearing protection. Contents: research needs; evaluation of the increased accident risk from workplace noise; German criteria for the selection of hearing protectors; reasons for not wearing hearing protectors; different methodologies of calculating noise exposure; measurement of effective noise exposure of workers wearing earmuffs; estimation of the variability of attenuation offered by earmuffs; individual fit testing of hearing protection devices; performance of hearing protectors with respect to European Directive 2002/10/EC; performance of various types of hearing protectors under high-level impulse noise.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2009, Vol.15, No.2, p.135-240 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
Davies H.W., Teschke K., Kennedy S.M., Hodgson M.R., Demers P.A.
Occupational noise exposure and hearing protector use in Canadian lumber mills
In this study, a comprehensive noise survey of four lumber mills in British Columbia, Canada, using a randomized sampling strategy was carried out, resulting in 350 full-shift personal dosimetry measurements. Sound frequency spectrum data and information on hearing protector usage were also collected. A determinants-of-exposure regression model for noise was developed. The mean exposure level was found to be 91.7 dBA, well above the exposure British Columbia limit of 85 dBA. Of 52 jobs for which more than a single observation was made, only four were below the exposure limit. Twenty-eight jobs had means over 90 dBA, and four jobs had means over 100 dBA. Although the use of hearing protectors is high, it is unlikely that this provides complete protection against noise-induced hearing loss at the observed exposures.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Jan. 2009, Vol.6, No.1, p.32-41. Illus. 16 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Musicians' hearing protection: A review
The music and entertainment industry is unique in that high noise levels are often regarded as an essential element for the enjoyment of people attending concerts and live music events. However, there is a risk of hearing damage for people working in the music and entertainment industry, including musicians. One of the methods used to reduce noise exposure is the use of appropriate hearing protection. Many different types of hearing protection have been marketed for musicians including pre-moulded earplugs, custom-moulded earplugs and in-ear monitors. In order to support the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) understanding of this issue, the types of hearing protection available to musicians were identified. Telephone interviews were then conducted with nineteen professional musicians to collect information on: the type of hearing protection (if any) musicians are currently using; musicians' attitudes to hearing protection including whether they think it is, or it can be, effective and whether it allows them to do their job effectively; and the factors musicians consider important when choosing hearing protection.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. viii, 51p. Illus. 45 ref.
RR_664.pdf [in English]
In-situ attenuation of hearing protection devices - Literature survey
Affaiblissement acoustique in situ des protecteurs individuels contre le bruit - Étude bibliographique [in French]
Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253) has modified European regulations on protecting workers against noise exposure. This directive specifically introduces a new requirement in the form of exposure limit values, the level of daily noise exposure being henceforth limited to 87dB(A) and peak sound pressure level to 140dB(C), including attenuation of hearing protectors. Exposure level determination requires knowing both the sound pressure spectrum for the exposure noise and the noise attenuation values of hearing protection devices (HPD) based on their field estimation. These constraints lead to difficulties of both metrological and methodological nature. The aim of this literature survey was to establish the current state of the art in relation to the real capacity of HPD to attenuate noises. Testing methods applied to determining HPD noise attenuation are described. The survey reveals a major difference between attenuation values declared in HPD manufacturers' specifications and real attenuation values measured in situ. Moreover, this difference varies, depending on the HPD type, ranging from 5dB for safety helmet-mounted ear-muff types to nearly 22dB for formable foam ear-plug types. There are insufficient data on custom-moulded ear-plug type and additional investigations are required in this area.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 3rd Quarter 2008, No.212, p.-43-59. Illus. 60 ref.
http://www.hst.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/HST_ND%202295/$File/nd2295.pdf [in French]
Tsukada T., Sakakibara H.
A trail [sic] of individual education for hearing protection with an instrument that measures the noise attenuation effect of wearing earplugs
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of individual training of workers, using an instrument to quantitatively evaluate the noise attenuation gained with the use of earplugs, on the use of hearing protection devices. The subjects were 68 male workers exposed to noise of above 80dB(A) at an electronic parts manufacturer in Japan. They received group instruction on the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, and individual education on the proper use of earplugs. Two months after the training, the prevalence of the regular use of hearing protectors among workers in loud working environments increased from 46% to 66%. The results suggest that individual training is an effective means to increase both the usage rate and the proper use of hearing protection devices.
Industrial Health, July 2008, Vol.46, No.4, p.393-396. 11 ref.
http://www.jniosh.go.jp/en/indu_hel/pdf/IH_46_4_393.pdf [in English]
Trabeau M., Neitzel R., Meischke H., Daniell W.E., Seixas N.S.
A comparison of "train-the-trainer" and expert training modalities for hearing protection use in construction
This study compared the effectiveness of noise induced hearing loss prevention training programmes delivered using "Train-the-Trainer" and expert trainer modalities. Participating construction companies were assigned to one of the two modalities. The effectiveness of the modalities was assessed through the use of surveys. The accuracy of self-reported hearing protection device use was also evaluated through on-site observation. Post-training scores for hearing conservation knowledge, perceived barriers, and current and intended future use of hearing protection devices improved significantly for both training modalities. The effectiveness of the training was not found to be dependent on training modality. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2008, Vol.51, No.2, p.130-137. 13 ref.
Neitzel R., Meischke H., Daniell W., Trabeau M., Somers S., Seixas N.S.
Development and pilot test of hearing conservation training for construction workers
Hearing conservation efforts in construction frequently rely on use of hearing protection devices (HPDs): however, training on HPDs is often not provided, and usage rates remain low. In this study, a hearing conservation training program was developed and tested. Programme contents and delivery methods were selected to optimize the effectiveness and flexibility of the training. Evaluation measures selected to assess training-related changes in self-reported HPD use included noise dosimetry and a survey concerning workers beliefs and attitudes towards HPDs and their use. The training program was tested on a construction site. Complete assessment data were available for 23 workers. The percent of time when hearing protection was used during noise levels above 85dB(A) nearly doubled post-training.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 2008, Vol.51, No.2, p.120-129. Illus. 36 ref.
Have you heard? Hearing loss caused by farm noise is preventable: Young farmers' guide for selecting and using hearing protection
Aimed at farmers aged below 35 years and their families, this leaflet presents an overview the variety of hearing protectors available and when and how to use them. Contents: fitting formable plugs; fitting pre-moulded plugs; fitting canal caps; tips on using hearing protection; buying hearing protection; common noise levels. See also CIS 08-529.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Sep. 2007. 2p. Illus.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-176/pdfs/2007-176.pdf [in English]
Personal protective equipment - Come on, join in!
Persönliche Schutzausrüstung - Komm, mach mit! [in German]
This booklet explains the different types of protective equipment and presents the workplace signs and pictogrammes signaling that their use is required.
Institut für Arbeisschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA), Alte Heerstrasse 111, 53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany, 2006. 7p. Illus.
http://www.dguv.de/psa/de/publikationen/komm.pdf [in German]
Noise and vibration
Special issue of the journal devoted mostly to noise and vibration problems in an occupational setting in the Asia-Pacific region. Articles cover: Noise-induced hearing loss and compliance with the hearing conservation programme in Malaysia (Ismail N.H., Elias A.); Communication and noise (Airo E.); Mechanization, vibration and the Indian workforce (Mandal B.B., Srivastava A.K.); Building a safety culture at workplaces for Vietnamese workers (Le V.T.); ICOH 2006 (a general report by Lehtinen S. and an overview on sessions dealing with noise by Starck J.); Bhopal revisited - the tragedy of lessons ignored (Rice A.); The Bhopal disaster in 1984 - working conditions and the role of trade unions (Eckerman I.); The Work Plan of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres in Occupational Health (Lehtinen S.).
Asian-Pacific Newsletter on Occupational Health and Safety, July 2006, Vol.13, No.2, p.31-51 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl. ref.
http://www.ttl.fi/NR/rdonlyres/AF130282-A0AB-4439-8E3C-AFF55CDEF59F/0/AsianPacific_Nwesletter22006.pdf [in English]
Lichtenstein N., Jaschke M., Nies E., Möller A.
Basic principles for testing for the presence of harmful substances in hearing protectors
Grundlagen für die Prüfung von Gehörschützern auf ihren Gehalt an Gefahrstoffen [in German]
Hearing protectors marketed in Germany may be awarded a certificate by the statutory accident insurance carrier (Berufsgenossenschaft) to indicate that they contain low concentrations of harmful substances such as arsenic, antimony, lead, tin, tin-organic compounds and phthalates. Suitable analytical procedures for the identification of these substances were selected and standardized by round-robin tests. Concentration limits were derived from current knowledge of the availability of the substances and their dermal absorption. For example the concentrations of arsenic, antimony and lead in hearing protectors may not exceed 25 mg/kg. The certificate was introduced in response to a report on the harmful substances contained in hearing protectors that caused many noise-exposed workers not to use them.
Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft, Apr. 2006, Vol.66, No.4, p.135-141. Illus. 25 ref.
Martins Arezes P., Sérgio Miguel A.
Does risk recognition affect workers' hearing protection utilisation rate?
This study was carried out on a sample of 434 industrial workers exposed to noise pressure levels greater than the action level defined in Portuguese legislation (85dB(A)). A questionnaire was developed to assess workers' risk perception of high-noise exposure and their utilization of hearing protection devices (HPD). Multivariate data analysis of several variables revealed that risk recognition in general, and self-efficacy, in particular play a significant role as a predictor of workers' behaviour with respect to the use of HPD. Results suggest that risk recognition should be considered as an essential issue in the design and implementation of any hearing conservation programme, in particular in workers' training. In industrial environments, it is very likely to find several workers sharing the same workplaces and being exposed to the same noise pressure levels, who have different perceptions of the risks they are exposed to. These different perceptions could lead to different workers' attitudes and behaviours.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Dec. 2006, Vol.36, No.12, p.1037-1043. Illus. 18 ref.
Hearing protection. Training under the terms of §12 of the law on occupational safety and the regulations on the prevention of accidents.
Lärmschutz. Unterweisung nach §12 Arbeitsschutzgesetz und Unfallverhütungsvorschrift "Grundsätze der Prävention" [in German]
This CD-ROM provides an interactive training course on noise control and hearing protection. Topics covered: characteristics of noise; the hearing function; risks and consequences of noise; recognition of hearing damage; responsibilities and obligations; medical supervision; protective measures; personal protective equipment; competent personnel.
Universum Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 65175 Wiesbaden, Germany, 2006. CD-ROM.
Arezes P.M., Miguel A.S.
Hearing protection use in industry: The role of risk perception
The objective of this study was to analyse the associations between individual risk perception factors of noise exposure and the use of hearing protection devices. It involved a sample of 434 industrial workers exposed to noise levels greater than the action level defined in Portuguese legislation (85dB(A)). Data on workers' risk perception of noise exposure and their use of hearing protection were obtained by means of a questionnaire. Multivariate analysis revealed that risk perception plays a significant role as a predictor of workers' behaviour with respect to the use of hearing protection devices. Results suggest that risk perception should be considered as an essential issue in the design and implementation of hearing conservation programmes.
Safety Science, Apr. 2005, Vol.43, No.4, p.253-267. Illus. 23 ref.
Waldmann H., Matzinger C.
Hearing protection: Less often means more
Les appareils de protection de l'ouïe: moins signifie souvent plus... [in French]
The main reasons that workers do not protect themselves sufficiently against noise include lack of awareness of the risk, the use of inappropriate means of protection and the lack of proper communication on the risk. Topics addressed by this article on hearing protection: risk awareness and individual responsibility; technical measures; instructions for use; level of protection required; new means of hearing protection; sound attenuation that allows verbal communications; responsibilities of employers.
Communications de la CFST, Dec. 2005, No. 60, p.8-10. Illus.
http://www.ekas.ch/communication-fr.php?download=911&1166195952 [in French]
Health and Safety Executive
Controlling noise at work - The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
This publication provides guidance for employers on protecting workers from the risks caused by noise at work. As well as setting out the legal obligations of employers under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (see CIS 06-1259), it introduces a revised approach to the management and control of noise in the workplace. The main sections provide guidance on the assessment and management of noise risks, together with practical advice on noise control, buying and hiring quieter tools and machinery, selection and use of hearing protection and the development of health surveillance procedures. Various appendices set out advice aimed at providers of technical advice and services to the employer, as well as the legal duties of manufacturers and suppliers of noisy machinery. Replaces CIS 98-1714.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Oct. 2005. iv, 134p. Illus. 41 ref. Price: GBP 13.95.
Hearing protection at Ford in Genk
Protection auditive sur mesure chez Ford Genk [in French]
A Belgian automobile plant has adopted a new type of custom-made hearing protector, after testing and evaluating its cost-effectiveness. While the initial purchase of the otoplastic hearing protectors is relatively costly compared to single-use hearing protectors, they are considered to be economical in the long run. They are designed to prevent allergic reaction and they also offer excellent noise protection. Results of surveys among users of these devices show that they are well tolerated.
Prevent Focus, Dec. 2005, No.10. p.14-17. Illus.
Ologe F.E., Akande T.M., Olajide T.G.
Noise exposure, awareness, attitudes and use of hearing protection in a steel rolling mill in Nigeria
A questionnaire survey was carried out among 116 workers in a steel rolling mill in Nigeria to collect information on their knowledge and attitudes towards hazardous occupational noise and preventive measures. Noise mapping of the factory was also performed. Average noise levels ranged from 49dB(A) in the administrative area to 93dB(A) at the steel finishing stage. There was high awareness of noise hazards (93%) and methods of prevention (92%) but only 27% of workers possessed hearing protectors and only 28% of these stated that they used them all the time. Initiatives are required to increase the use of effective preventive measures.
Occupational Medicine, Sep. 2005, Vol.55, No.6, p.487-489. 10 ref.
Neitzel R., Seixas N.
The effectiveness of hearing protection among construction workers
An analysis of data on noise exposure and hearing protection among construction workers is presented. Data were drawn from several large construction industry datasets, from a self-administered questionnaire on the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) and from direct measurements of HPD attenuation at a work site. The workers assessed in this study were found to use hearing protection less than one-quarter of the time that they were exposed above 85dBA. Workers who reported "always" using HPDs in high noise on questionnaires were found to wear them only one-third of the time that their exposures exceeded 85dBA. Workers' self-reported use of HPDs during the most noisy non-occupational activities was also found to be low. These results demonstrate the need for better hearing conservation programs and expanded noise control efforts in the construction industry.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Apr. 2005, Vol.2, No.4, p.227-238. Illus. 45 ref.
Konkolewsky H.H., et al.
Noise at work
Le bruit sur le lieu de travail [in French]
El ruido en el medio laboral. [in Spanish]
This special issue on noise was published to coincide with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2005. It provides an overview of some of the work being done in Europe to protect workers' hearing and highlights the need to bring into force laws, regulations and administrative provisions to comply with Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253) on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to noise. Contents: comment on Directive 2003/10/EC; HSE initiatives to reduce workplace noise in the United Kingdom; Italian good practice manual on workplace noise control; stepwise approach to controlling noise at work; acoustics in indoor workplaces; acoustic measures in sheltered workshops for handicapped workers; effects of noise on classical musicians; noise reduction in offices; speech intelligibility when wearing hearing protectors.
Magazine - European Agency for Safety and Health at Work / Agence européenne pour la sécurité et la santé au travail, 2005, No.8, p.1-31 (whole issue). Illus. 66 ref.
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_en.pdf [in English]
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_es.pdf [in Spanish]
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_fr.pdf [in French]
http://osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_de.pdf [in German]
Control of noise at the workplace, a European priority
Lutte contre le bruit au travail, une priorité européenne [in French]
It is estimated that 7% of all European workers suffer from severe hearing disorders caused by occupational exposure to noise. In the European Union, minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to noise are set out in Commission Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253), to be transposed into national legislation by February 2006. Contents of this article on the control of noise at the workplace: definition of noise; effects of noise (hearing loss, tinnitus, dual effects of noise and the exposure to ototoxic substances such as solvents); noise control; personal protective equipment.
Face au risque, Sep. 2005, No.415, p.23-25. Illus.
Comparison of otoacoustic emissions among workers exposed and not exposed to noise
Comparación de emisiones otoacústicas en individuos expuestos y no expuestos al ruido ocupacional [in Spanish]
In this study, the average amplitude of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) were compared in 36 volunteers aged between 20 and 30 years, occupationally exposed to noise for at least a year but wearing hearing protectors all day, and 36 unexposed controls of similar age. Results of audiometric tests were normal in both groups. The duration of exposure had little influence on the DPOAE amplitudes. This article underscores the importance of wearing hearing protectors during exposure to noise for avoiding hearing loss.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 2nd Quarter 2004, Vol.11, No.40, p.7-11. Illus.
Le R., Laliberté P.
Design of a hearing protector that suppresses dominant noise
Conception d'un protecteur auditif à suppression de bruits dominants [in French]
Miners generally work with noisy tools and equipment in enclosed areas that are prone to echoing. To protect themselves against ambient noise, they wear conventional hearing protectors such as earmuffs or earplugs. However, these protective accessories mask out all types of signals, including voices and alarms. The aim of this project was to develop a device capable of attenuating the noise from tools and equipment while allowing voice and alarm signals to be heard. Two prototypes of hearing protectors fitted with electronic circuits were developed and tested. Results obtained in the laboratory with a pure sound showed some promise. However, results obtained in practical situations were disappointing. More advanced research will be required for the concept to be of practical use.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2004. iv, 34p. Illus. 32 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-361.pdf [in French]
Hsu Y.L., Huang C.C., Yo C.Y., Chen C.J., Lien C.M.
Comfort evaluation of hearing protection
Hearing protection is highly important for workers exposed to noisy environments, although the willingness of workers to wear hearing protectors depends to a large degree on their comfort. In this study, workers' experience and comfort needs for hearing protection were investigated through a questionnaire that established the comfort indices for hearing protection. An earmuff comfort tester was designed to measure the comfort indices, and an experiment was conducted to transpose workers' perceived comfort into quantitative data. These data enabled the determination of the range of these comfort indices in which workers feel comfortable. Guidelines to improve the design of current hearing protection based on these comfort indices are proposed, which may help increase workers' willingness to wear this equipment.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 2004, Vol.33, No.6, p.543-551. Illus. 9 ref.
Luna Mendaza P., Guasch Farrás J.
Estimation of the effective attenuation of hearing protectors
Estimación de la atenuación efectiva de los protectores auditivos [in Spanish]
Hearing protectors need to comply with certain requirements concerning noise attenuation. Noise attenuation is constant for each octave band, but the overall attenuation differs according to the noise frequency spectra. This information note describes the methods used for calculating the various noise attenuation indices that allow the determination of the effective residual noise load at the ear. Contents: definition of the various noise level attenuation parameters; octave band method; H, M and L method; SNR (Single Number Rating) method; example simulating the exposure of a worker as a function of time and use of hearing protectors.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 5p. Illus. 2 ref.
http://internet.mtas.es/Insht/ntp/ntp_638.htm [in Spanish]
Laitinen H.M., Toppila E.M., Olkinuora P.S., Kuisma K.
Sound exposure among the Finnish National Opera personnel
The purpose of the study was to determine the noise exposure among the staff of the Finnish National Opera. An evaluation of sound exposure level due to individual and group rehearsals was also carried out. The measurements were made using individual noise dosimeters and fixed-point measurements. Although it was found that conductors, dancers and double bass players were exposed to levels below 85dB(A), the majority of opera staff were exposed to levels that exceeded this limit during both rehearsals and performances. When exposures exceed 85dB(A), the employer is required to develop a hearing conservation programme. There exist hearing protection devices designed specially for musicians. However, both education efforts and enforcement measures will be necessary to encourage more widespread use.
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Mar. 2003, Vol.18, No.3, p.177-182. Illus. 10 ref.
Malchaire J., Piette A.
Hearing protection and audibility of signals
Protection auditive et audibilité des signaux [in French]
Railway track maintenance work is often noisy, exposing workers to noise levels often exceeding 90dB(A) and making the wearing of ear protectors necessary. At the same time, many track maintenance tasks take place without interrupting the rail traffic. The ability to hear acoustic signals warning of the impending arrival of a train is vital to workers' safety. Under these conditions, hearing protectors are perceived as an additional risk of not hearing the alarm signal. This study was able to demonstrate that hearing loss among track maintenance workers is no greater than among the general population of same average age. Furthermore, testing in laboratory conditions showed that wearing hearing protectors did not detract from hearing the acoustic alarm signals. However, these findings need to be confirmed in field tests.
Travail et bien-être, Mar.-Apr. 2002, No.2, p.29-33. Illus.
Health and Safety Executive
This leaflet contains information on how to prevent the risk of hearing damage in agriculture. Topics covered: legal requirements; what employers, employees and self-employed have to do regarding noise exposure; harmful noise levels; preventive measures to be taken when working with certain equipment (tractors, chain saws, barn machinery) or animals; different types of ear protection.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, May 2002. 8p. Illus. 6 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/as8.pdf [in English]
Arezes P.M., Miguel A.S.
Hearing protectors [sic] acceptability in noisy environments
The choice of hearing protectors should take ergonomic features into account. The purpose of this study was to analyse the relationship between the acoustical attenuation efficiency and other aspects related to the comfort of hearing protectors and consequently their acceptability by workers exposed to noisy industrial environments. A subjective evaluation of comfort was performed using a questionnaire completed by 20 workers. The time during which the protectors were used was self-recorded by each subject. The results show that there are significant differences between that claimed by the supplier and effective attenuation. Protectors which were more comfortable tended to be more efficient than protectors with a higher claimed attenuation, but which were less comfortable.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Aug. 2002, Vol.46, No.6, p.531-536. 21 ref.
Toivonen M., Pääkkönen R., Savolainen S., Lehtomäki K.
Noise attenuation and proper insertion of earplugs into ear canals
To determine whether noise attenuation can be improved by informing workers on the proper insertion of earplugs, 54 randomly-selected male subjects were divided into two groups: an untrained group (25 persons) and a group who had received training (29 persons). The trained group was provided with information on earplug insertion and allowed to practice the insertion procedure, whereas the untrained group acted as controls. The success of the training was measured by the MIRE (microphone in real ear) and REAT (real ear at threshold) methods, visual evaluation and an inspection of the subjects' ear canals. According to the MIRE method, average noise attenuation was 21dB for the untrained group and 31dB for the trained group. With the REAT method, attenuation at 1000Hz was 24dB for the untrained group and 30dB for the trained group. The visual evaluation of the earplug fit was 1.9 for the untrained group and 2.6 for the trained group (scales 0-3).
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Aug. 2002, Vol.46, No.6, p.527-530. Illus. 8 ref.
Personal protective equipment - Head and respiratory system
Środki ochrony indywidualnej - Głowa i układ oddechowy [in Polish]
This guide provides information on the characteristics and scope of use of personal protective equipment for the head and respiratory system protection, guidance concerning the proper selection of this equipment and information regarding the compliance of Polish standards with European Union directives. Translation of INRS publication ED 279.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland, 2002. 32p. Illus.
Safety and Health at Work (Protection against Noise) Regulations of 2002 [Cyprus]
Oi perí Asfáleias kai Ugeías stēn Ergasía (Prostasía apó to Thórubo) Kanonismoí tou 2002 [in Greek]
These regulations were issued under the authority of the 1996 Act concerning safety and health at work (see CIS 98-5), as modified by 2002. They cover all aspects of workplace protection against noise and hearing damage. In annex: methods for the measurement of noise; medical surveillance of hearing damage. Implementation in Cyprus of Council Directive 86/188/EEC of 12th May 1986 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to noise at work (see CIS 87-45).
Episêmos Efêmeris tês Dêmokratias, 10 May 2002, No.3601, Suppl. III(I), p.2089-2098.
Hughson G.W., Mulholland R.E., Cowie H.A.
Health and Safety Executive
Behavioural studies of people's attitudes to wearing hearing protection and how these might be changed
Workers exposed to noise do not always wear hearing protection when they should. This is due to a range of physical, ergonomic and behavioural factors. This report describes a study carried out to identify ways in which workers' behaviour could be modified so as to make them more likely to adopt hearing protection. In a first phase, a range of companies were visited to assess the degree of workers' use and acceptance of hearing protection and to determine what action management had taken to encourage its use. In a second phase, examples of good practice were identified from these surveys and from the literature, and implemented into workplace interventions that were carried out in four of the companies previously visited. The interventions included providing suitable training and information, offering alternative types of hearing protection, and coaching management in basic feedback and communication techniques for encouraging workers to modify their behaviour.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2002. vi, 116p. 22 ref. Price: GBP 20.00.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr028.pdf [in English]
Guidance for the use of hearing protectors at noisy workplaces
Zasady użytkowania ochronników słuchu na hałaśliwych stanowiskach pracy [in Polish]
Booklet containing guidance on the use of hearing protectors. Contents: effects of exposure to noise; legislation on hearing protectors; types of hearing protectors; acoustic and technical characteristics of hearing protectors; methods for the selection of hearing protectors; recommendations applicable to the use of hearing protectors.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland, 2001. 23p. Illus. 22 ref.
Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social
Official Mexican Standard - Safety and health conditions in workplaces where noise is generated [Mexico]
Norma Oficial Mexicana - Condiciones de seguridad e higiene en los centros de trabajo donde se genere ruido [México] [in Spanish]
Contents of this standard: scope (all workplaces in Mexico where workers may be exposed to noise); definitions, magnitudes, abbreviations and units; obligations of emplyoers and workers; permissible limits of noise exposure; hearing conservation programmes; new workplaces and modification of work procedures in existing workplaces; verification systems. In annex: table of maximum permitted exposure levels (maximum time in function of dB(A) levels); noise measurement methods and calculations; selection of hearing protective equipment. Official Standard NOM-011-STPS-1993 (see CIS 95-29) on the same subject is superseded.
Internet copy, 2001. 28p. Illus. 32 ref.
http://www.stps.gob.mx/04_sub_prevision/03_dgsht/normatividad/normas/nom_011.htm [in Spanish]
Regulations of 26 Jan. 2001 concerning the protection of workers against the risks due to exposure to noise at work [Slovenia]
Pravilnik o varovanju delavcev pred tveganji zaradi izpostavljenosti hrupu pri delu [in Slovenian]
These regulations specify the obligations of employers related to the protection of the hearing of their employees when they are exposed to noise. They also prescribe regular medical examinations of such workers.
Uradni list Republike Slovenije, 1 Feb. 2001, Vol.11, No.7, p.648-652.
de Paula Santos U., Paiva Santos M.
Exposure to noise: Effects on health and how to prevent them
Esposição a ruído: efeitos na saúde e comi prevení-los [in Portuguese]
Contents of this booklet on the effects of exposure to noise and the prevention of hearing loss: causes of hearing loss, definition of sound and noise, and various types of noise; how to prevent hearing loss; legal aspects; practical examples for the control of exposure to noise.
Instituto Nacional de Saúde no Trabalho (INST) Rua Caetano Pinto 575, São Paulo, CEP 03041-000, Brazil, 2000. 30p. Illus.
Practical guide to the selection of personal hearing protectors
Guide pratique pour le choix des protecteurs individuels contre le bruit [in French]
Exposure to sound levels above 85dB presents a hazard to hearing. This leaflet offers practical guidance for choosing appropriate hearing protection (earplugs or earmuffs) according to whether the exposure to noise is continuous or intermittent. The concept of global attenuation is explained. The importance of wearing the personal noise protective device as long as possible is emphasized.
Institut de Santé et de Sécurité au Travail, Bd. M. Khaznadar 5, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia, no date. 4p. Illus.
Take care of your ears
Cuide sus oídos [in Spanish]
Contents of this booklet on hearing protection: consequences of exposure to noise; control measures (monitoring, medical examinations, preventive measures); types of personal protective equipment (earplugs, earmuffs); taking proper care of reusable protective equipment; check list for hazard evaluation.
Instituto Nacional de Seguros, Departamento de gestión empresarial en salud ocupacional, San José, Costa Rica, no date. 14p. Illus.
Bolia R.S., McKinley R.L.
The effects of hearing protectors on auditory localization: Evidence from audio-visual target acquisition
Response times (RT) in an audio-visual target acquisition task were collected from three participants while wearing either circumaural earmuffs, foam earplugs, or no hearing protection at all. Analyses revealed that participants took significantly longer to locate and identify an audio-visual target in both hearing protector conditions than they did in the unoccluded condition, suggesting a disturbance of the clues used by listeners to localize sounds in space. RTs were significantly faster in both hearing protector conditions than in a non-audio control condition, indicating that auditory localization was not completely disrupted. Results are discussed in terms of safety issues involved with wearing hearing protectors in an occupational environment.
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 2000, Vol.6, No.3, p.309-319. Illus. 14 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Reducing noise at work - Guidance on the Noise at Work Regulations 1989
This booklet provides guidance on the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 (CIS 90-21). Part 1 defines legal duties of employers to prevent damage to hearing (exposure assessment and records; reduction of risk of hearing damage and of noise exposure; ear protection; noise control, employees' information). Part 2 covers duties of designers, manufacturers importers and suppliers. Part 3 gives advice for employers on how to chose a competent person for the noise assessment. Part 4 on how to carry out the noise assessment and the measurements. Part 5 on how to control noise exposure (workplace design, substitution of process or machine, engineering methods for sound attenuation and reduction of exposure). Part 6 on selection and correct use of ear protection. Replaces CIS 98-1714.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Rev.ed., 2000. vii, 91p. Illus. 30 ref. Price: GBP 9.75.
Sound advice - Protect your ears in noisy environments
This publication is in the form of a booklet containing several short articles on occupational exposure to noise. According to NIOSH, 30 million persons are exposed to hazardous noise at work in the United States, of whom 10 million suffer from permanent hearing loss. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to develop and implement noise monitoring programmes whenever any employee's exposure equals or exceeds an 8-hour average exposure of 85dB. Various hearing protection devices are described (foam plugs, pre-molded reusable plugs, canal caps, earmuffs, miscellaneous devices). Finally, answers to some frequently-asked questions on hearing protection are provided.
Safe Worker, Feb. 2000, Vol. 74, No.2, p.2-11, 14-15. Illus.
Pressure effects in railway tunnels
The severe pressure waves generated by high-speed trains travelling through tunnels may create severe discomfort, and - in extreme cases - ear damage in crew and passengers on trains travelling through these tunnels. Should there be a case of rapid decompression (e.g. if a window broke while the train passed through the tunnel), the health consequences may be even more serious. There do exist solutions, all of which costing money. Expensive solutions include changing tunnel configurations (larger tunnel cross-sections, installation of air shafts) or the trains themselves (complete pressure sealing of train compartments). Less expensive solutions involve the prevention of two trains passing each other in the tunnel and a general reduction in train speeds while in the tunnel.
Rail International, Apr. 2000, Vol.31, No.4, p.10-17. Illus. 10 ref.
Code of practice for selection, use, care and maintenance of hearing protectors
The purpose of this code of practice is to provide information and guidance to all persons who have to supply, purchase or wear hearing protectors, and to encourage the use of effective criteria in their selection, use, care and maintenance. Hearing protectors attenuate the level of noise to the hearing organs. They reduce the harmful effects of noise and help prevent hearing damage. In order to have effective hearing protection, hearing protectors should be used properly all the time. Therefore, attention should be paid to the important factors which may influence comfort and acceptance.
Singapore Productivity and Standards Board, 1 Science Park Drive, Singapore 118221, Republic of Singapore, 1999. 42p. Illus. 7 ref.
Noise and its consequences
Le bruit et ses conséquences [in French]
In France, two million workers are exposed to noise levels that present a risk of hearing damage (above 85dB(A)). In 1997, illnesses due to noise exposure accounted for 4.7% of occupational illnesses, the third-highest cause behind musculoskeletal disorders and illnesses from asbestos dust exposure. In 1996, 34% of occupational disease compensation was paid for illnesses due to noise exposure. Contents of this collection of articles: harmful effects of noise; description of the scale for measuring noise; functioning of the ear; individual and collective protection measures; French and European standards.
Face au risque, Oct. 1999, No.356, p.7-16. Illus. 14 ref.
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