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TitleAssessing the use of hearing protection in industrial settings : a comparison between methods
Author(s)Arezes, P.
Miguel, A. Sérgio
KeywordsHearing protection devices
Issue date2013
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Abstract(s)In industrial environments, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are used to protect workers from noise exposure. However, the effectiveness of this practice can be compromised when workers periodically remove their HPDs while exposed to noise, which greatly affects the attenuation of the devices. Therefore, it is important for techniques that assess the “real” use of HPDs to be accurate. This study analysed the accuracy and reliability of three HPD assessment methods: (1) the self-reported use, (2) the use of a statistical sampling observation method and (3) the use of video to monitor (record) all of the workers’ activity. The studied techniques were applied in an industrial environment where 2 types of HPDs are used and where wearing HPDs is compulsory. The results demonstrated that self-reported data differ from the observed workers’ behaviour and that workers tend to overestimate their use of the HPDs. From the analysed variables, it can be concluded that the self-reported data are more reliable for older workers and for those with greater experience in using HPDs. Accordingly, it can be concluded that the self-reported use of HPDs is a good, practical method, particularly in terms of the time-effectiveness, cost and accuracy of the technique. Relevance to industry: The efficacy of hearing protection devices is strongly linked to the use period of the devices. Accordingly, it is essential that both field researchers and health and safety practitioners can be aware of the implications of the use of different methods to estimate the use period.
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CGIT - Artigos em revistas de circulação internacional com arbitragem científica

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