The role of audiometry in the prevention of occupational deafness


The research set out to test three main hypotheses derived from a summary of literature relevant to the use of audiometry in industry. These hypotheses were: (1) performing audiometry increases the probability that hearing protectors, once issued, will be worn; (2) audiometry is considered by workers to be evidence of their employer's concern for their welfare; (3) audiometry is associated with common law claims by workers against employers for alleged occupational deafness. Six subsidiary hypotheses were also developed. Four methods of data collection were used: (1) attitude questionnaires were administered to samples of workers drawn from an industrial company performing audiometry and two industrial companies not performing audiometry; (2) a postal questionnaire was sent out to industrial medical officers; (3) surveys were undertaken to assess the proportion of the workforce in each of eight industrial companies that was wearing personal hearing protectors that had been provided; (4) structured interviews were carried out with relevant management level personnel in each of five industrial companies. Factor analysis was the main statistical analytic technique used. The data supported all three main hypotheses. Audiometry was also examined as an example of medical screening procedure. It was argued that the validation of medical screening procedures requires the satisfaction of attitudinal or motivational validation criteria in addition to the biological and economic criteria currently used. It was concluded that industrial audiometry failed to satisfy such attitudinal or motivational criteria and so should not be part of a programme of screening for occupational deafness. It was also concluded that industrial audiometry may be useful in creating awareness, amongst workers, of occupational deafness. It was argued that the only profitable approach to investigating the role of audiometry in preventing occupational deafness is to study the attitudes and perceptions of everyone involved.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: Department: Safety and Hygiene If you have discovered material in Aston Research Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown policy and contact the service immediately (
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: attutude,audiometry,hearing protectore,screening
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2024 07:11
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2011 09:08
Completed Date: 1977-10
Authors: Merriman, Robert John


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record