NIOSH releases study on work-related hearing loss

Mining, construction, manufacturing industries had highest rates

Posted May 9, 2016

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a study last month in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on hearing impairment among noise-exposed workers in the United States from 2003 to 2012.

The study found a prevalence of 13 percent hearing loss (mild to complete) among 1.4 million audiograms studied. The study confirms and quantifies the prevalence of hearing loss among employees of nine major industry sectors. The mining (17 percent), construction (16 percent), and manufacturing (14 percent) industries had the highest prevalence of workers with any hearing impairment or moderate to severe hearing impairment.

NIOSH found that 2.5 healthy years were lost each year for every 1,000 noise-exposed U.S. workers because of hearing impairment (hearing loss that impacts day-to-day activities).

Occupational hearing loss, primarily caused by high noise exposure, is the most common U.S. work-related illness. NIOSH estimates that 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous occupational noise. Occupational hearing loss can be prevented with hearing loss prevention strategies and technology.

Hearing ProtectionJ. J. Keller offers a variety of hearing protection solutions to meet your employees’ personal protection needs.


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