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However, in the 1998 revised criteria for a recommended standard for occupational noise exposure, NIOSH researchers published risk estimates for hearing loss as a function of years of exposure and noise exposure level. Additionally, as part of the NIOSH Project SENSOR surveillance effort, a limited amount of data on other aspects of occupational hearing loss has also been gathered.
Of the 28,400 cases of occupational hearing loss recorded in 2004, the majority were from the manufacturing sector. Additionally, it should be noted that hearing loss may not be well documented in the construction sector because these workers are not required to be given hearing tests. HearLoss is an interactive Windows PC program for demonstrating to normally hearing people the effects of hearing loss.
The HearLoss program plays back pre-recorded audio samples of some speech, some music and some typical background noise, either singly or in combination. Changes in the amplitude sensitivity slider changes the loudness of the sound, changes to the frequency range slider changes the upper frequency limit of the sound, while changes to the spectral detail slider changes the amount of fine structure present in the spectrum.
To download the full installation, right click on the link above and choose "Save Target As".
To download the program alone, right click on the second link above and choose "Save Target As". Explain that deafness is not just all or nothing, but that hearing impairments come in various degrees.
Play music and demonstrate loss in amplitude sensitivity to mild, moderate and severe losses. Explain that if hearing loss was just a loss in sensitivity, then we could restore peoples' hearing with just an amplifier.

Explain that most hearing loss is not just a drop in quantity but also a dop in the quality of sound perceived. Play music and demonstrate what a reduction in frequency range means: at mild, moderate and severe levels. The three audio files are loaded into memory and scaled so that they can not overload the output when added together.
The graphic equaliser display is based on a number of auditory filter sized channels, each 1 bark wide. This program may not run correctly on PCs with a low processor speed which are unable to perform the frequency analysis and synthesis in real time. Thomas Baer & Brian Moore, "Effects of spectral smearing on the intelligibility of sentences in noise", The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America -- September 1993 -- Volume 94, Issue 3, pp. HearLoss is not public domain software, its intellectual property is owned by Mark Huckvale, University College London. ESection is a free program for calculating and displaying spectral and other related analyses of sections of a speech signal. WASP is a simple program to record speech signals and to display a spectrogram and pitch track. FactsheetsAge-related hearing loss (presbyacusis)Age-related hearing loss (known medically as presbyacusis) is the most common cause of hearing loss in older people.
Depending on the definition of exposure and impairment, NIOSH estimates that there are between 5 and 30 million workers in the U.S.
As shown in Table 1, the 1997 NIOSH analysis of those frequencies likely to be affected by noise (1, 2, 3, and 4 kHz; see highlighted column) demonstrates 1 in 4 workers (25%) will become hearing impaired at exposures to 90 dBA.

However, in response to NIOSH recommendations, OSHA updated requirements in 2003 for recording occupational illness and injury. The number of recorded cases of hearing loss is likely to be an underestimate of work-related hearing loss cases for several reasons.
Finally, only the small number of workers in the mining sector who are covered by OSHA (rather than MSHA) would have qualifying hearing losses recorded on an OSHA Log 300.
By comparison, 1 in 12 workers (8%) are at risk of becoming hearing impaired at exposures to 85 dBA. A new regulation (29 CFR 1910.04 mandated that beginning in 2004 occupational hearing loss must be recorded on the OSHA Log 300.
First, the OSHA criteria for a significant decrease in hearing from a workera€™s baseline hearing test, a standard threshold shift (STS), is much lower than the criteria needed to record changes on an OSHA Log 300.
Nevertheless, the new requirement to record work-related hearing loss is a major improvement in our ability to monitor the incidence of occupational hearing loss.
In November of 2005 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the results for this first year of recording occupational hearing loss (Figure 3). There is little data regarding details associated with the number of workers with occupational hearing loss. This is because there has been no requirement, and hence no mechanism, for recording such data.

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