NIOSH study shows prevalence of work-related hearing loss, tinnitus
Safety + Health
February 3, 2016
Washington – Increased awareness and targeted interventions may help protect workers from experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, according to a recent study from NIOSH.
Researchers analyzed national data on hearing conditions among workers who were exposed to elevated levels of occupational noise, as well as workers who were not exposed to such noise.
Researchers emphasized several key findings, including:
- Workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting faced “significantly higher risks” for hearing difficulty, tinnitus and the occurrence of both conditions.
- Workers in manufacturing faced significantly higher risks for tinnitus and the co-occurrence of hearing difficulty and tinnitus.
- Workers in life, physical and social science occupations faced a significantly higher risk for hearing difficulty.
- Workers in architecture and engineering roles faced a significantly higher risk for tinnitus.
Twenty-three percent of workers exposed to occupational noise had hearing difficulty, compared with 7 percent of workers who had hearing difficulty despite not being exposed to occupational noise, NIOSH stated.