Self-Reported Noise Exposures for Ohio Cash Grain Farmers

  • Bean, Thomas;
  • Crawford, John M.;
  • Mitchell, Gladys Lynn;
  • Wilkins III, J.R.;
  • Jepsen, S. Dee;
  • Eicher, L. Chris;
  • Jones, L. A.

The Ohio State University Departments of Agricultural Engineering and Preventive Medicine surveyed Ohio cash grain farmers during the 1993 calendar year. Data was collected from the principle operator, spouse, and one eligible child using a mixed-mode survey. This survey was a self-administered mail questionnaire with a telephone follow-up of mail non-respondents. The questionnaire was used to collect demographic data as well as other self-reported data regarding occupational injury, illness, and related conditions. Noise induced hearing loss was among the conditions addressed.

Farming is now recognized as an at-risk occupation for noise-induced hearing loss. Principle operators, farm workers, farm wives, and even children are all exposed to noise created by agricultural operations. In most cases, the principle operator provided complete information regarding hearing loss and noise exposures past and present. Therefore, principle operators were concentrated on as their levels of exposure will more closely approximate those exposures of full-time employees in general industry. The self-reported exposures to be presented include: jobs other than farming, jobs requiring the use of firearms, types of agricultural equipment used, approximate duration of exposure to noisy equipment, and other noise exposures not occupationally related. The use of hearing protection during these exposures will also be reported. The ages of the surveyed principle operators will be included as well, but the effects of presbycusis (natural hearing loss due to age only) are beyond the scope of this study.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors noted above are from: All at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

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