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Simplified risk assessment of noise induced hearing loss by means of 2 spreadsheet models

Objectives: The objective of this study has been to test 2 spreadsheet models to compare the observed with the expected hearing loss for a Norwegian reference population. Material and Methods: The prevalence rates of the Norwegian and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) definitions of hearing outcomes were calculated in terms of sex and age, 20–64 years old, for a screened (with no occupational noise exposure) (N = 18 858) and unscreened (N = 38 333) Norwegian reference population from the Nord-Trøndelag Hearing Loss Study (NTHLS). Based on the prevalence rates, 2 different spreadsheet models were constructed in order to compare the prevalence rates of various groups of workers with the expected rates. The spreadsheets were then tested on 10 different occupational groups with varying degrees of hearing loss as compared to a reference population. Results: Hearing of office workers, train drivers, conductors and teachers differed little from the screened reference values based on the Norwegian and the NIOSH criterion. The construction workers, miners, farmers and military had an impaired hearing and railway maintenance workers and bus drivers had a mildly impaired hearing. The spreadsheet models give a valid assessment of the hearing loss. Conclusions: The use...

Lie, Arve; Engdahl, Bo Lars; Tambs, Kristian
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 29(6): 991–999
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