Predictors of noise exposure in construction workers
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Construction workers are exposed to hazardous noise from a wide variety of tools and equipment. This study aims to determine the workplace tasks associated with being exposed to occupational construction noise above the Australian standard (L Aeq,8h = 85 dB). The paper also explores the predictors of personal hearing protection use amongst construction industry workers. One hundred construction workers from a range of construction occupations were recruited. Participants wore a dosimeter for a working shift that recorded their time weighted eight-hour equivalent noise exposure levels (L Aeq,8h ). Interviewers used specialised occupational exposure survey software, OccIDEAS, to collect information about the tools and equipment used during the same working shift. L Aeq,8h results ranged from 71 dB to 101 dB with 46% of participants having an L Aeq,8h equal to or over the Australian Exposure Standard (85 dB). Results showed that the personal use of planers, sanders and grinders; large machinery; and power hammers were strongly associated with having an L Aeq,8h over 85 dB. Only 41% of workers who had an L Aeq,8h = 85 dB wore hearing protection all the time they performed noisy tasks.
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