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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 51  |  Page : 142--146

Noise-induced hearing loss in agriculture: Creating partnerships to overcome barriers and educate the community on prevention


1 Surveillance Branch, Division of Surveillance, Health Effects and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
2 Hearing Loss Prevention Team, Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch, Division of Applied Research and Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA

Correspondence Address:
Janet J Ehlers
RN NIOSH, R-17, 5555 Ridge Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.77218

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Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a common and preventable injury for farmers. Farmers are frequently exposed to excessive noise, ranking among the top three occupations and industries with the highest risk for hearing loss. Use of hearing protection among farmers is not common. Although the age when NIHL begins among farmers is unknown, its prevalence is higher among male adolescents who live and work on farms. The purpose of this paper is to describe how NIOSH created partnerships to promote hearing conservation for this hard-to-reach population. Partnerships included organizations and individuals who were trusted sources of information for the target population, young farmers 14-35 years of age and their families, and those who had linkages in rural communities. NIOSH engaged partners through exhibits and train-the-trainer workshops at state or national conventions. NIOSH workshops included basic information on NIHL as well as information on free or low-lost resources that participants could use in training others at schools and community events. People with hearing conservation expertise have an important role and many opportunities to improve the knowledge and implementation of hearing conservation among those in agriculture.






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