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The noise exposed factory workers: the prevalence of sensori-neural hearing loss and their use of personal hearing protection devices

The noise exposed factory workers: the prevalence of sensori-neural hearing loss and their use of personal hearing protection devices

Medical Journal of Malaysia 48(3): 280-285

A total of 524 industrial workers were studied. They consisted of 442 noise exposed and 82 non-noise exposed workers. The purpose was to compare the prevalence of sensori-neural hearing loss among the noise exposed and the non-noise exposed workers, to study their knowledge on the hazard of noise to hearing and the workers' attitude towards the hearing protection devices. The prevalence of sensori-neural hearing loss was significantly higher among the noise exposed workers, i.e., 83% versus 31.7% (p < 0.01). However, the prevalence of hearing impairment was much lower for both groups, being 30.1% for the noise exposed and 3.7% for the non-noise exposed group. Although hearing protection devices were provided to 80.5% of the workers, only 5.1% were wearing them regularly. The possibility of developing hearing loss due to exposure to excessive noise was only known by 35.5% of the noise exposed workers. This awareness was found to have a positive correlation with the workers' compliance to the hearing protection devices. Our findings highlight the need for workers to be educated on the hazards of excessive noise exposure to hearing.

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Accession: 047689620

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PMID: 8183139

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