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Revista CEFAC

Print version ISSN 1516-1846


SVIECH, Patricia Schiniski; GONCALVES, Claudia Giglio de Oliveira; MORATA, Thais Catalani  and  MARQUES, Jair Mendes. The evaluation of comfort of the personal hearing protection devices as an intervention for hearing loss prevention. Rev. CEFAC [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.5, pp.1325-1337.  Epub Apr 16, 2013. ISSN 1516-1846.

PURPOSE: to analyze the comfort of the individual hearing protectors as part of an intervention for prevention of hearing loss in workers exposed to high noise levels, using a questionnaire of comfort assessment. METHOD: company safety and health records were reviewed, noise measurements were performed, new HPDs were selected, the comfort of the devices was evaluated and audiometric tests were conducted. The study population was 20 workers exposed to noise levels above 80 dB(A). The workers used two types of HPD (earplugs and earmuffs), each for 15 days, followed by an application of the questionnaire after each trial period. RESULTS: 85% of the participants were males and 15% females and their average age was 35 years old. The comfort index for the studied earplug was 4.6, and for the studied earmuff was 6.1. The participants wore the HPDs during their full work shift which lasted 6 hours and 40 minutes. Other barriers were indentified to the use of hearing protection: interference with communication (20%), decreased hearing (10%) and lack of clarity on the need to use it (10%). CONCLUSION: the HPDs analyzed in this study had their scores acceptable and were considered both comfortable. However, there was a significant difference in the comfort Index between protectors of different types (earplug and earmuff). The conclusion was that the earmuff is considered the most comfortable and more accepted HPDs by this population.

Keywords : Noise; Hearing Loss; Disease Prevention.

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