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NIOSH tools for hearing loss prevention programs

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2010, Vol. 328, No. 1, pp. 564-567

Azman, A.S.; Randolph, R.F.; Hudak, R.L.


The mining workforce experiences high rates of hazardous noise exposure and hearing loss. However, previous studies have identified specific behavioral and attitudinal barriers that keep miners from effectively acting to prevent their own hearing loss. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed several new hearing loss prevention tools and interventions that specifically target these barriers to prevention. The NIOSH Hearing Loss Simulator addresses motivation to take action and knowledge about the consequences of noise exposure. The QuickFit earplug test device and QuickFitWeb online hearing protection tester address barriers to effective earplug and earmuff use by verifying at least 15 decibels of protection. The NIOSH Roll-Pull-Hold technique helps miners obtain better protection through an easy-to-remember set of steps that improves attenuation by nine decibels. The “Inquiring Ears Want to Know” fact sheet helps miners to understand audiograms and to use them to maintain their hearing health. Each of these interventions can be used within the context of a comprehensive hearing loss prevention program.