2008 Volume 46 Issue 4 Pages 393-396
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of individual training of workers, using an instrument to quantitatively evaluate the noise attenuation gained with the use of earplugs, on the efforts to promote the use of hearing protection devices. The subjects were 68 male workers exposed to noise of above 80 dBA at an electronic parts manufacturer in Japan. They received group instruction on the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, and individual education on the effect of the proper use of earplugs. The individual education was done with the use of an instrument that measures the noise attenuation effect of wearing earplugs. After the training, the prevalence of the regular use of hearing protectors increased. Among workers in loud working environments, it increased from 46% to 66% over two months after the training. The percentage of workers who obtained a sufficient noise attenuation effect of≥25 dB in both ears with the proper use of earplugs also increased, from 46% before the training to 72% immediately afterward. These effects were still observed about two months after the intervention. The results suggest that the present individual training may be an effective means to increase both the usage rate and the proper use of hearing protection devices, perhaps because it deepens individuals' understanding of the effect of the proper use of such devices.