Recorded at AIHce EXP 2021
Hearing Protectors, Hearing Loss, Noise Exposure, and Injury Risk Among Mining Workers
We evaluated the associations between hearing protection use, hearing loss, noise exposure, and injury risk among mining workers. Hearing loss was significantly associated with increased risk of near miss, and hearing protection use and previous serious work injury were associated with elevated risk of injury. Workers with a hearing loss achieved significantly lower Personal Attenuation Ratings from their hearing protectors than workers with normal hearing. These results suggest that mining workers may be at increased risk of injury due to hearing loss and hearing protection use, and that the amount of attenuation workers achieve with their hearing protectors is associated with their hearing ability. Additionally, hearing loss prevention programs in mining should emphasize hearing protection attenuation, and that injury prevention programs should consider hearing loss and hearing protector use as potential injury risk factors.
Acknowledgements & References: We wish to thank the participating workers and mining facilities. This study was funded by the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, grant number AFC 719-20 Author: Dr Richard Neitzel, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Co-Authors: L Smith, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA E Ullman, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA S Bregg, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA A Schkembi, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA S Adar, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA M McCullagh, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Presenter/Author: Dr Richard Neitzel, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Retrospective Assessment of the Impact of Estimated Noise Exposure on Non-fatal and Fatal Injury Rates Among Miners in the US from 1983 to Present
Non-fatal injury and fatality rates were 2.8 per 100,000 FTE and 3.5 per 100 FTE, respectively in 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry had a fatality rate nearly 400% higher, yet an non-fatal injury rate 50% lower when compared to the all industry average (https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm#rates). Although many factors may play a role in injury and fatality risk and they may vary substantially by industry, mining has been labeled one of the most prevalently noisy industries, where 76% of miners are regularly exposed to hazardous noise while at work (Tak et. al 2009). Important to further reductions in injuries is the understanding of what role noise exposure plays in the mining industry. Further, a better understanding of this relationship could help tailor existing hearing conservation programs to incorporate aspects of injury risk.
Co-Authors: A Shkembi, University of Michigan Department Statistics, Ann Arbor, MI, USA R Neitzel, University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Presenter/Author: Ms Lauren Smith, MS, MPH, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI