Hearing injury due to exposure to excessive noise during common farming activities is a significant problem for farmers. The aim of this study was to investigate factors that affect the level of risk to hearing caused by common farming activities. Noise levels on farms were measured across a range of activities and producer groups, and situational factors that effect noise levels were also investigated. Older tractors were found to be 6 dB louder than newer tractors. Cabs reduced noise to the operator by 16 dB, which was halved to 8 dB if a door was open. Radios added between 3 and 5 dB to the noise in the cab. These variables significantly affect the noise level at the ear of operators and others in the workplace, and affect the subsequent exposure limits that are considered safe. Situational factors need to be considered in assessing the level of risk to farmers' hearing and in choosing noise management strategies on the farm. This information has been incorporated into material about hearing and discussions with farmers who participated in field day hearing screening programs in Australia.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
Access this publication at: ASABE Technical Library
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