Can new technology help an old issue? Promotion of the use of Hearing Protection Devices in an Offset Printery.
Jane Whitelaw1 & Peter G Knott2
1 University of Wollongong, Post Graduate Occupational Health & Safety Program.
2 3M Australia Pty Ltd
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between perceived noise levels and the use of hearing protection devices (HPD’s) among offset printing workers; and to use an intervention strategy of education coupled with the use of personal noise level indicators (NLI’s) to determine if individuals would modify their behaviour to increase HPD use, given education and instant and visual feedback of their exposure to noise.
An extensive noise survey was conducted to determine actual personal noise exposures during operation of various pieces of equipment, alone and in various combinations.
Baseline observation of HPD use, and worker self reporting via a daily log of their use of HPD’s was done prior to “toolbox” training sessions and the introduction of the NLI’s.
The observations and self reporting of HPD use were repeated after a period of time using the NLI’s in the workplace. A control group of workers were given the toolbox training session but not the NLI’s to determine the effect of education alone and to counter the placebo effect of a workplace intervention in a small workforce.