Influence of engine room noise on hearing acuity


The noise level of engine rooms, machinery and living spaces of three Indian Naval Ships both at harbour and during sailing were studied along with audiometric monitoring of 51 Naval Grew working on board these ships. The highest noise level in all compartments at harbour was less than 85 dB, the maximum permissible level per 8 hours a day exposure. During sailing the noise level increased all over and peaked to 120 dB in the engine room which also resulted in a high value (109 to 112 dB) of speech interference level (SIL). The band spectrum of engine room noise depicted a rising and falling trend and the maximum energy concentration of 114 dB was observed at 1 kHz.

Audiometric study revealed that 78% of the engine room personnel had loss of hearing in the entire range of frequency (125 Hz-10 kHz) as compared to 46% in personnel working at other places on the ship. The audiograms of these groups were symmetrical in pattern but showed higher hearing threshold in engine room personnel. A further study of audiograms of engine room personnel according to length of service showed that the dip observed at 6 kHz deepens in those having more than 8 years of service as compared to others with shorter service.

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Correspondence to R. M. Rai.

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Rai, R.M., Chaturvedi, R.C. & Malhotra, M.S. Influence of engine room noise on hearing acuity. Indian J Otolaryngol 28, 104–107 (1976).

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  • Hearing Loss
  • Sound Pressure Level
  • Impulse Noise
  • Sound Level Meter
  • Maximum Permissible Level