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Mark Stephenson, Ph.D. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DEVELOPING A HEARING LOSS PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS. NIOSH HIERARCHY OF CONTROLS. Remove the hazard Remove the worker Protect the worker. OVERVIEW. REVIEW OF THE PROBLEM

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Mark stephenson ph d

Mark Stephenson, Ph.D.

National Institute

for Occupational Safety

and Health

DEVELOPING A HEARING LOSS

PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS


Mark stephenson ph d

NIOSH HIERARCHY OF CONTROLS

Remove the hazard

Remove the worker

Protect the worker


Mark stephenson ph d

OVERVIEW

  • REVIEW OF THE PROBLEM

  • WHAT WE’VE LEARNED SO FAR

  • WHERE WE’RE GOING


Mark stephenson ph d

THE PROBLEM:

  • The construction industry DOES have a standard:

  • 29 CFR 1926.52… “Workers exposed to TWAs >90 dBA

  • must be provided protection.”

  • BUT

  • Many of the requirements in the manufacturing

  • industry standard (29 CFR 1910.95) do not apply:

  • Periodic noise monitoring

  • Dosimetry

  • Periodic audiometric testing

  • Regular worker education


Mark stephenson ph d

So what…

People lose their hearing

anyway as they age.


Mark stephenson ph d

Even by age 60, the average healthy person does not have impaired hearing!!


Mark stephenson ph d

Hearing Levels in 60 Year Old Males as

a Function of Noise Exposure


Mark stephenson ph d

Even where the OSHA HCA

is being applied, workers are still

losing their hearing!

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Mark stephenson ph d

What Have We Learned So Far?

  • Noise Levels

  • Hearing Levels

  • Cost

  • Health Communications


Mark stephenson ph d

The Average 25 Year Old Carpenter

Has 50 Year Old Ears!


Mark stephenson ph d

$1,000,000,000

It Would Cost One Billion Dollars to Provide

Hearing Aids to Every UBC Member

Who Needed Them (batteries not included)!


Mark stephenson ph d

Cost: What kind of money are we talking about?

Don’t

talk to me about

decibels, tell me about

MONEY !

Cost of hearing aids

Vs.

Cost of an HCP

What about workers’ compensation?


Mark stephenson ph d

Health Communication Theory = Marketing


Mark stephenson ph d

Health Communications:

Once a noise hazard is identified, why don’t we just pass out ear muffs or set out boxes of ear plugs?


Mark stephenson ph d

Without proper training, any hearing

protector that can be worn wrong,

will be worn wrong!


Mark stephenson ph d

People have MANY reasons for not using hearing protectors. (AKA: You can lead a person to hearing protectors, but you can’t get him/her to wear them.)

  • Comfort

  • Convenience

  • Cost

  • Communications / hear

  • importantsounds

THERE ARE OVER 200 DIFFERENT HEARING PROTECTORS. EVERYONE CAN FIND A PROTECTOR THAT MEETS THEIR NEEDS.

THE BEST HEARING PROTECTOR IS THE ONE THAT’S WORN!


Mark stephenson ph d

Effect of not wearing your hearing protector

on the amount of effective noise reduction


Mark stephenson ph d

Education and Training Must NOT Just

Fill a Square

Blah, blah, blah…

Blah, blah, blah...


Mark stephenson ph d

How do you know what the workers’ concerns and beliefs are?

Just ask me.

I’ll tell you

what I need.

Barriers cited by coal miners

for not wearing HPDs:

Comfort Poke Out Eardrum

Communication Cords Get Caught

Convenience Earcup Too Big

Roof “Talk” Warning Sounds


Mark stephenson ph d

Percent of Workers Who Wore Hearing

Protectors


Mark stephenson ph d

INFLUENCING HEARING PROTECTOR

USE AMONG WORKERS

Health communication theory has proven education

and training must address two concepts:

Remove Barriers

Develop Self-Efficacy


Mark stephenson ph d

Conduct Focus

Groups

Measure

SPLs & HTLs

Administer

Survey

Analyze Data

Analyze Audio-

metric Data

Modify Training

Develop Training

Analyze Data

Observe

Behaviors

Re-administer

Survey

How Do You Remove Barriers & Develop Workers’

Self-Efficacy?

Removing Barriers and

Developing Self-Efficacy

is an Iterative Process


Mark stephenson ph d

This is your ear.

This is your ear on noise.

Any questions?

NIOSH Toll-Free Number: (800) 35-NIOSH

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html

Mark R. Stephenson Carol Merry-Stephenson

(513) 533-8144 (513) 533-8581

[email protected] [email protected]


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