Personal and Environmental Factors That Influence the Use of Hearing Protection Devices at Work


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Ravi K. Reddy
PhD Candidate, University of Auckland
School of Population Health,
Tamaki Campus, Auckland.

()P06, Wednesday 26, Ilott Theatre, 11.30)

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business
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Personal and Environmental Factors That Influence the Use of Hearing Protection Devices at Work

  1. 1. PERSONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE USE OF HEARING PROTECTION DEVICES AT WORK Ravi Reddy David Welch Peter Thorne Shanthi Ameratunga School of Population Health, University of Auckland26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 1 Wellington Town Hall
  2. 2. The problem• Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a form of hearing loss• NIHL = sustained and repeated exposure to excessive sound levels (>85dBA) 8hrs• 85dBA (sawing, drilling); 145dBA (aircraft takeoff/hammering) (Kurmis & Apps, 2007)• Temporary hearing loss time Permanent hearing loss26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 2 Wellington Town Hall
  3. 3. The Problem• Estimate burden :overall hearing loss – Average 16% to 25% (Nelson et al., 2005, Thorne et al, 2011)• Personal and social problems (Noble, 1998) – Communication difficulties – Isolation / low self esteem – Employment issues26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 3 Wellington Town Hall
  4. 4. The Problem • Occupations most susceptible to NIHL: – Mining – Agriculture – Manufacturing – Construction – Military OHSIG Conference 4 Wellington Town Hall26 October, 2011
  5. 5. Preventive measures• Primary prevention – engineering and administrative controls• Secondary prevention – use of hearing protection devices (HPDs)• Improper & inconsistent use of HPD is a concern to NIHL preventive strategies26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 5 Wellington Town Hall
  6. 6. Qualitative study• To understand workers’ perspective on noise and HPD use• Semi-structured interviews : 25 manufacturing workers, Auckland• Key themes emerged.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 6 Wellington Town Hall
  7. 7. Ecological Model for Health Promotion (McLeroy,1988)• Focus on: – Personal factors – Environmental factors• 5 levels of influence26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 7 Wellington Town Hall
  8. 8. Ecological Model for Health Promotion (McLeroy,1988) POLICY COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONAL INTERPERSONAL INTRAPERSONAL26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 8 Wellington Town Hall
  9. 9. Findings: Intrapersonal Level• Personal Factors – Acceptance: (noise &HPDs). – Fear of hearing loss – Noise annoyance – Individual choice/attitude. • Probably habits…It’s like old dog, new tricks sort of thing. Like my father for instance, builder for years, he’s deaf as a door post…If only he had worn hearing protection. He never did, still doesn’t. • It (wearing HPD’s) really comes down to the own person. You can’t force it.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 9 Wellington Town Hall
  10. 10. Findings: Intrapersonal Level• Environmental factors: – Problems with HPD • Bulky, • uncomfortable, • communication problems, • quality and • availability.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 10 Wellington Town Hall
  11. 11. Findings: Interpersonal Level• Personal Factors: – Self-image • “Some of the guys got, ‘I’m the man’ type of attitude,... (Macho culture / show of strength) – Isolation • You can’t really talk to anybody so you are by yourself sort of. It makes a long shift.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 11 Wellington Town Hall
  12. 12. Findings: Interpersonal Level• Environmental Factors: – Peer mentality • The way I’m thinking they make fun of me. • Peer modeling – Family • I love the sound of my grandkids. • Maintain quality of life with family members26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 12 Wellington Town Hall
  13. 13. Findings : Organisational Level• Environmental factors: – Enforcement – Training – Availability of HPDs26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 13 Wellington Town Hall
  14. 14. Conclusion• Factors have been identified at different levels of the ecological model.• Personal, Social and Environmental factors.• At each level, there are supports for and barriers against HPD use.• Multi-level interactions26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 14 Wellington Town Hall
  15. 15. Conclusion• Findings have helped develop a questionnaire (data collection tool)• Questionnaire survey aims to identify targets for focus groups discussion.• These processes modeled on the ecological framework will help develop targeted interventions26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 15 Wellington Town Hall
  16. 16. Hearing loss has huge economic and social consequences Targeting occupational noise exposure will help reduce the overall burden of hearing loss.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 16 Wellington Town Hall
  17. 17. Reference• Kurmis, A. P., & Apps, S. A. (2007). Occupationally-acquired noise-induced hearing loss: a senseless workplace hazard. International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health, 20(2), 127-136. doi: 10.2478/v10001-007-0016-2• Nelson DI, Nelson RY, Concha-Barrientos M, Fingerhut M. The global burden of occupational noise-induced hearing loss. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2005;48(6):446-58.• Thorne P, John G, Grynevych A, Welch D, Ameratunga S, Stewart J. Modeling the incidence and prevalence of NIHL in New Zealand. Conference proceedings. International Commision on the Biological Effects of Noise – ICBEN. London. 2011• Noble W. Consequences of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Effects Observed in Families. Acoustics Australia. 1998; 26(2):41-3.• McLeroy KR, Bibeau D, Steckler A, Glanz K. An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health Education Quarterly. 1988;15(4):351-77.26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 17 Wellington Town Hall
  18. 18. Thank you This study is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand26 October, 2011 OHSIG Conference 18 Wellington Town Hall