Hearing in Fishermen and Coastguards
Both fishermen and coastguards have a very peculiar working pattern which deviates considerably from that of the regular industrial worker. Instead of 8 hours work followed by 16 hours rest 5 days a week, fishermen and coastguards frequently work for several days with continuous high noise exposure. Also, during sleep they are exposed to high sound levels from the ship engine. In addition, they are exposed to other unfavorable work environment factors such as heave of the sea, whole body vibration, rapid climatic variations, sleep deprivation, work at night, etc. It is quite possible that noise is more deleterious to hearing under such unfavorable conditions. The hearing examination of a large number of fishermen and coastguards showed quite poor hearing, particularly among those at a fairly young age. It is assumed that the major etiology of this poor hearing status is work-related noise exposure, possibly in combination with other interactive ototraumatic factors. In particular leisure time shooting activities performed by 24 and 28? of fishermen and coastguards respectively appear to have contributed to the poor hearing status. Repeated annual hearing checkups, improved ear protection, and technical noise abatement on board these vessels could improve the hearing of people in these professions considerably.
KeywordsHearing Loss Sound Level Noise Exposure Hearing Threshold International Maritime Organization
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