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O38-5 A job-exposure matrix for occupational noise – development, validation and update
  1. Mattias Sjöström1,
  2. Marie Lewné1,
  3. Magnus Alderling2,
  4. Per Gustavsson1
  1. 1Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Centre for Occupational- and Environmental Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden


Noise is one of the most common occupational hazardous exposures. In addition to hearing loss and tinnitus increasing evidence show that noise exposure is also associated with stress reactions, and cardiovascular effects. A Recent study (Selander et al. EHP 2015 Dec 8.) using an earlier version of our noise JEM, showed that noise exposure can negatively impact fetuses during pregnancy.

We have developed, updated and validated a job exposure matrix for occupational noise using some 270 measurement reports from 1970 through 2014. The matrix contains 321 job families, as defined by the Nordic Occupational Classification system (NYK 85/90), and classifies 8 hour average noise exposure using a five grade scale 1: <70 dB(A), 2: 70 < 75 dB(A), 3: 75 < 80 dB(A), 4: 80 < 85 dB(A), 5: ≥85 dB(A). Exposure estimates were developed for every 5-year period during 1970–2014, yielding exposure development over 44 years.

The matrix also includes assessments of the probability for impact noise exposure using a 4 grade scale1. Yes, for sure; 2. Yes, probably; 3. Yes, possibly; 4. Unlikely.

Exposures were estimated by two separate teams, each comprised by one occupational hygienists and one experienced occupational safety engineer. Agreements were statistically analysed using Svensson’s non-parametric methods in terms of relative position (RP) and relative concentration (RC) Disagreements were discussed and a consensus was reached for the final version.

In the final phase preliminary results indicate good agreement between the two teams concerning noise exposure levels, without systematic differences. However, impact noise source data were scarce and the team assessments were more split giving weaker agreement and a systematic difference.

The consensus matrix will be made available to collaborators.

A previous JEM, based on approximately half the number of reports and a 3-grade classification was published 2013. (Sjöström et al Ann Occup Hyg. 2013 Jul;57(6):774-83)

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