Publication highlights causes, preventions of workplace hearing loss
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health partnered with the National Hearing Conservation Association for the second year to produce the special publication. It includes research on ways to prevent hearing loss, especially among workers.
The most effective intervention -- engineered noise controls -- is rarely implemented, according to one of the articles. A study on barriers to the implementation of ENCs at eight food and beverage manufacturers concluded the following reasons:
- Poor knowledge of relevant regulations, noise reduction options, and the health impacts of noise.
- Weak technical skills and experience.
- Low ranking of noise as a hazard by stakeholders.
- Issues around job insecurity.
- Weak language skills.
- Lack of quiet machine options and information from equipment manufacturers.
- Poor employer-employee relationships.
- Barriers to employer-employee reporting.
- Informal valuation of ENC costs.
- Feasibility issues.
The researchers questioned and analyzed answers from 55 individuals at the participating manufacturers in British Columbia. They determined that none of the companies had fully implemented hearing conservation programs, as required by regulations. The authors said many of the barriers could be addressed by a more rigorous application of existing HCP regulations.
The complete supplement is being presented at the NHCA's annual conference and is also available online.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
March 8, 2012
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