Noise Exposure and Hearing Capabilities of Quarry Workers in Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Sekyere, Owusu Frank
Amankwaa, Isaac
Boateng, Daniel
Gyamfi, Kwame R. Charles
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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Although quarry operations have high economic significance, the effects they cause to the workers in terms of excessive noise production cannot be overlooked. This cross-sectional study assessed the extent of noise exposure and its influence on hearing capabilities among quarry workers in Ashanti region. Methods. The study involved 400 workers randomly selected from five quarries in Ashanti region from April to June 2012. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, physical examination, and audiological assessments. A logistic regression model was fitted to assess independent predictors of hearing loss. Results. All the machines used at the various quarries produced noise that exceeded the minimum threshold with levels ranging from 85.5 dBA to 102.7 dBA. 176 (44%) of study respondents had hearing threshold higher than 25 dBA. 18% and 2% of these were moderately (41–55 dBA) and severely (71–90 dBA) impaired, respectively. Age, duration of work, and use of earplugs independently predicted the development of hearing loss. Use of earplugs showed a protective effect on the development of hearing loss (OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.25, 0.84). Conclusion. This study provides empirical evidence on the extent of damage caused to quarry workers as a result of excessive noise exposure. This will support the institution of appropriate protective measures to minimize this threat.
Gyamfi, C. K. R., Amankwaa, I., Owusu Sekyere, F., & Boateng, D. (2016). Noise exposure and hearing capabilities of quarry workers in Ghana: a cross-sectional study. Journal of environmental and public health, 2016.