Use of hearing protection and perceptions of noise exposure and hearing loss among construction workers

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1998 Jul;59(7):466-70. doi: 10.1080/15428119891010217.


The purpose of this study was to describe construction workers' use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) and determine their perceptions of noise exposure and hearing loss. Operating engineers, carpenters, and plumbers/pipe fitters in the Midwest (n = 400) completed a written questionnaire regarding their use of HPDs and their perceptions of noise exposure and hearing loss. Subjects were recruited through their trade union groups. Mean reported use of HPDs and mean perceived noise exposure were compared across trade groups. Bivariate and multivariate analysis techniques were used to assess relationships between use of HPDs and trade category, education, age, years of employment, noise exposure, and hearing loss. Bivariate analyses identified significant differences in mean use of HPDs by age, years of employment, and trade group. Multivariate logistic regression assessing the independent effects of these variables found significant differences only by trade group. Results indicate a need for significant improvement in all three trade groups' use of HPDs, and suggest a need to consider use and exposure levels, demographics, and trade group membership in designing hearing conservation programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Deafness / epidemiology
  • Deafness / etiology
  • Deafness / prevention & control*
  • Ear Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Noise, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Noise, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Odds Ratio