The influence of shift work in the use of hearing protection devices

By Costa, S.; Arezes, P. M.; Steenbergen, RDJM; VanGelder, PHAJM; Miraglia, S; Vrouwenvelder, ACWMT

Safety, Reliability and Risk Analysis: Beyond the Horizon



The use of Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) is still, to this day, the preferred measure by the companies’ decision-makers to prevent workers’ hearing loss. Nevertheless, it is well known that the HPDs’ potential for effective protection is not fully achieved unless these devices are worn during the total amount of time they are needed, in other words, whenever workers are exposed to high levels of noise. Thus, it is of great importance to assess the HPDs’ use, or non-use, by workers. Many factors have been pointed out as being responsible for the non-use of the HPDs by workers, including: lack of motivation, poor training and discomfort. The observation of workers in their real-work context has given rise to the speculation that the use of the devices depends also on the work paradigm. This paper aims at clarifying the relationship between the work done in shifts and the use of HPDs.


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