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This page lists educational resources which deal with the prevention of noise inducing hearing loss.
Curtin University, WA, University of WA, University of Queensland, National Acoustic Laboratories, NSW
This team has been developing and testing a new epidemiological tool to help examine workplace exposures that contribute to occupational hearing loss (www.occideas.org). In April 2016, they undertook a large national telephone survey to ask workers about their occupations and tasks. The system will then determine how many Australian workers are exposed to harmful levels of noise, hand-arm vibration and ototoxic chemicals. It will then use this data to estimate the future burden of work-related hearing loss and identify the industry sectors that contribute most. It will also estimate how changes in the use of hazard controls could alter the burden and the costs. A report on the project is expected in late 2017.
University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
This study is investigating the acute auditory effects associated with solvent and jet fuel exposure. In addition, it aims to determine a test battery that can be used for monitoring hearing in solvent-exposed workers. Results are expected by the end of 2017.
Safe Work Australia is investigating exposures to hazards associated with priority work disorders within priority industries using small, targeted studies for specific industry sub-sectors and hazards. NOHARMS projects include exposure measurements where possible, and workers and managers are asked about risk management practices including the provision and use of controls. The first NOHARMS project, carried out by Curtin University, investigated exposures to noise, dust, vibration and chemicals on small mixed grain and livestock farms in Western Australia.
HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, VIC
This pilot project is working with three Victorian live music venues to develop practical and cost-effective solutions to help reduce noise exposure for musicians, patrons and venue staff while maintaining or even improving the fidelity of the music being played.
National Acoustic Laboratories, NSW
The aims of this project are to determine: i) the relationship between levels of noise exposure and auditory processing difficulties; ii) the influence of musical training in preventing or reducing these difficulties; iii) through electrophysiological techniques, a neurological model of the effects of noise exposure and musical training on auditory processing, and iv) the subjective experiences of those who have trouble hearing in noise.
The University of Western Australia, School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology and Macquarie University
This research project, just commencing, will explore individual and combined contributions of cigarette smoking, noise and atmospheric contaminants to the development of occupational hearing loss in a retrospective mining cohort, using health surveillance data collected in WA between 1996 and 2013.
Edith Cowan University, WA. School of Medical & Health Sciences
The Occupational Health team is investigating the relationship between noise exposure and welding fumes to determine if welding fumes could be implicated as an ototoxic agent.
The University of Sydney, NSW
This is an ongoing project on OHS issues in orchestras, including NIHL. It involves the eight main state and national orchestras.
The University of New South Wales
This is an ongoing project originating from concerns about the effects of noise on safety-critical tasks undertaken by those working within an aircraft. The studies have investigated the effects of noise on various cognitive tasks and have considered the effects on native vs non-native speakers. The noise levels for these investigations have been in the range between what is considered acceptable for an office and the workplace noise limit. The noise used has been a wideband noise similar to that within an aircraft cabin during flight. Recent studies have included babble noise, i.e. non meaningful speech, at the same level.
Contact Dr Brett Molesworth: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Western Australia, School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering.
Successful active noise control projects to attenuate low-frequency noise have been carried out in the cabins of a mining truck and a locomotive, in the wheelhouse of a high-speed patrol boat, near a cooling fan in an educational building and to reduce noise emissions from a shoulder-pack vacuum cleaner.
Deakin University, VIC, Australian National University, ACT, National Acoustic Laboratories
Two out of three farmers are affected by hearing loss and they are exposed to many different sources of noise on farms. This project tested the hypothesis that participating in early intervention hearing services focused towards farming families will contribute to (a) significant reduction in the impact of hearing loss on farmers and (b) educate and empower farmers on their capacity to reduce their noise exposure. This project has resulted in several publications and in hearing health being embedded in the Sustainable Farm Families program – part of the National Centre for Farmer Health.
AgHealth Australia – University of Sydney, NSW, Farmsafe Australia
A number of research reports and articles have been produced by AgHealth contributing to action on this issue, along with facts and pamphlets for farmers and shooters.
Safe Work Australia, ACT
National Acoustic Laboratories, NSW
Based on research previously carried out by NAL, this website provides accurate and meaningful information about noise exposure and its impact on hearing health. You can find out whether your levels of noise exposure (at work and play) are putting you at risk of hearing damage, and you can take an on-line hearing test to see how well you hear in a noisy background. The comparative data on the site is based on results from over 8,000 people who participated in NAL’s large online survey in 2012. This first campaign under the HEARsmart banner was launched in 2014: and was driven by the distribution of postcards Australia-wide. There was also a dedicated social media campaign through facebook and twitter @HEARsmart_. The story was also picked up by Channel 9 TV news reaching a huge audience across Australia.
National Acoustic Laboratories, NSW
The aim of this project was to develop measurement tool(s) capable of estimating the life-time noise exposure profile typical of the community; and of specific individuals typical of sub-groups of the community. The NOISE database brings together a wide range of leisure noise measurements for researchers and others to explore. It aims to identify which leisure activities and events pose a risk to hearing health and to help estimate individuals' noise exposures.
National Acoustic Laboratories, NSW
This project developed an effective programme for hearing loss prevention and hearing health awareness. The project aims to reduce the prevalence of NIHL in young people by promoting awareness of the dangers of excessive sound exposure and educating primary school students on ways to minimise hazards to hearing health. It has been developed especially for teachers, by a teacher, has been tested in primary schools, and is designed to work with current teaching requirements.
Edith Cowan University, WA
Report published in 2010 with Teachers’ and Students’ Notes for the Integrated Science Curriculum Years 11 and 12
Edith Cowan University, WA and Scitech, WA
Exhibit designed to look like an oversized set of headphones, the two listening booths giving people a chance to experience what it is like to have noise-induced hearing loss and learn about preventative measures. It was installed in 2012 and remains a popular exhibit.
Ear Science Institute Australia, WA
Targeted at 8 - 12 year old students this program involves a 1-hour interactive education session delivered in the classroom by ESIA’s health promotion coordinator, using models, simulation of hearing loss, and group exercises. It has also developed a free Android App to monitor personal music player listening levels and a computer game about the dangers of prolonged exposure to noise.
Grow Smart Foundation, WA
A noise awareness program targeted at 10-11 year olds to demonstrate effects of playing personal music players at dangerously high volumes over time. The fun, interactive multimedia program message is designed to be delivered through a variety of modes, from school classroom presentations to public community events.
The West Australian/AIOH
Hearing Awareness Week is an annual event held in August. Every year between 2011 and 2014 “Managing Noise in the 21st Century” was published as a special 16-page liftout in The West Australian newspaper.
Although published in 1991 this Guide still has much useful information.
Three states currently have inspection projects focusing on noise.
WorkSafe in Western Australia is conducting an inspection project during 2015/17 in manufacturing workplaces. One of the main objectives of the proactive program is to raise awareness of noise hazards and how these may be assessed and subsequently controlled. During this project whenever inspectors visit a manufacturing workplace for any reason they will also run through a noise control and training checklist and if identified as a potential issue, take the necessary enforcement action.
WorkSafe Victoria has a NIHL information hub on its website. This includes: what noise is; the scientific basis on how hearing loss occurs; practical and easy to understand information on identifying noise in the workplace; and information on higher order noise controls beyond hearing protectors.
WorkSafe's inspectorate will be out in manufacturing industries to assess compliance in workplaces around the state. Later WorkSafe will focus on NIHL in the construction industry.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is including noise in its present compliance and enforcement intervention programs for the construction, manufacturing and agriculture industries.
The objectives of these awards are to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements in hearing loss prevention programs, and to obtain and disseminate information on their real world successes.
This project is investigating the measurability and reliability of OAE testing in different test environments and the potential for developing a procedure for the inclusion of OAE testing in HCPs, including evaluation of the practicability of training occupational health providers to undertake OAE testing.