Noise perception and hearing protector use in metallurgical industries

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Abstract

Although hearing protectors are defined as a temporary solution, they are often widely employed as the only measure against noise exposure. However, it is also known that unless workers wear the hearing protector continuously, their effectiveness will be very low. In this regard, there are some surveys that show that workers do not always wear their protectors properly and consistently while exposed to noise. The purpose of this article is to present the results of an investigation about noise perception, relating with noise exposure in working environment and the hearing protectors’ use. Was consider that noise perceptions effects can support minimizing risk and improve industries safety polities. The study sample was carry out in 5 metallurgical industries and 243 workers from Parana – Brazil. The survey data was collected and analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The questionnaire results showed that workers are exposed at high noise levels, in increasing risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). About the hearing protection use, it can be evaluated that the use is more effective in companies with a higher level of noise exposure. The perception of risk plays a fundamental role, which predicts the use of hearing protectors; therefore, the perception of the work environment, regarding the lower or higher risk, can be directly linked to the use of hearing protectors. The companies with more rigorous safety procedures also indicate a greater report of effective use of hearing protectors.

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