Age-Related Impairments like Reduced Hearing Capacity – A Safety Issue for the Working World?

  • Verena WagnerEmail author
  • Nina Raffaela Grossi
  • K. Wolfgang Kallus
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 604)


According to current prognosis, an excess of age is expected for the working population. Therefore, dealing with age-related impairments of sensory functions such as hearing impairment, is a central issue. Age and age-related impairments might influence employees’ performance especially in exhausting and stressful working situations. Furthermore, reduced hearing capacity bears a serious safety risk. To improve the communication especially regarding safety, communication friendly working procedures can be implemented.

A field study with white-collar workers was conducted. Audiometric data results showed that 57.9% of the participants had a slight hearing loss, 34.2% showed a mild to moderate hearing impairment. Most of the participants reported that they do strongly rely on communication at their workplace. Based on interviews and workshops difficult hearing situations were identified and procedures to prevent misunderstandings were derived. Furthermore, examples of procedures to improve the hearing environment are presented.


Human factors Reduced hearing capacity Safety Working procedures 



This work was supported by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) Anniversary Fund (grant number 16793).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verena Wagner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nina Raffaela Grossi
    • 1
  • K. Wolfgang Kallus
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Faculty Industrial TechnologiesFurtwangen UniversityTuttlingenGermany

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