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Completed Research

Hearing Loss Prevention in Road Construction (Completed – 2004-2009)

William E. Daniell, MD, MPH

University of Washington
Dept. of Env. & Occ. Health Sciences
Seattle , WA
Ph: (206) 685-3160
bdaniell@u.washington.edu

Original Project Abstract:

Noise induced hearing loss is one of the best understood and most readily preventable occupational illnesses. Yet, it remains a major occupational health problem, particularly in construction. The Washington State OSHA Program (WISHA) is planning to conduct a “noise in road construction” initiative to address compliance in that industry with the WISHA hearing loss prevention and noise rule. The initiative will begin in spring or summer, 2004, and will continue actively for two years. This initiative provides a time-limited opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of a broadly based intervention by a regulatory agency, intended to reduce the risk for a major occupational illness in a highly affected industry. We propose to conduct a four year longitudinal surveillance (prospective cohort) study of company policies and practices and employee perceptions and behavior related to hearing loss prevention, at road construction companies, during and after the WISHA initiative. The study will determine whether the initiative is associated with positive changes (improvement) among road construction companies and employees, and to determine whether any such changes persist after the initiative.

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