Background Noise is one of physical hazards found in forklift drivers, especially with diesel engine. Thailand’s 2010 regulation on the control of noise at work is not more than 85 dBA per 8 hour-TWA.
Objectives To survey the hearing problem and noise exposure of forklift drivers in a factory.
Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted during 2011–2012 among the workers. Data was collected through periodic examination and environmental measurement. A total of 21 people participated in the study (20 males, 1 female).
Results The workers were 29–48 years of age and their working years were between 9 to 20 years with the average working time of 40 hours per week. The report of abnormal audiogram was 33.3% (7 people) and one case was later excluded after the repeated test was normal. Two cases were diagnosed with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss while the others (5 people) were diagnosed with mild SNHL. All of them were not concerned about ear protective equipment, nor did they utilize such equipment. The environmental measurement was done by sound level meter; Noise Dosimeter. Time weighted average level (8-hr-TWA) was still under the regulations, which were between 80.38 to 85.61dBA.
Conclusion Hearing conservative program should be provided to high risk workers even though the noise induced hearing loss was not diagnosed. The periodic examination is important to compare with baseline audiogram.
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