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Chatswood, Australia

Williams W.,National Acoustic Laboratories
Acoustics 2015 Hunter Valley | Year: 2015

This presentation reports on the examination of the relationship between self-reported noise exposure during leisure activities and audiological indicators: including measured hearing threshold levels (HTL) and tinnitus. The research was conducted by cross sectional survey of 1432 individuals from 11 to 35 years old. Methodology included of a full audiometric assessment including otoscopy, pure tone audiometry (PTA) (air- and bone-conduction), otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and tympanometry. A comprehensive questionnaire gathered information on demographics, hearing health status and participation in work, non-work and leisure activities. Using the history of work, non-work and leisure noise exposure a cumulative life time noise exposure was estimated. No correlation was found between cumulative life time noise exposure and audiometric PTA or OAE parameters. However, tinnitus was found to frequently occur at what would be considered as low exposure levels.

Williams W.,National Acoustic Laboratories
Noise and Health | Year: 2011

A qualitative workplace trial was undertaken to examine the performance of sound restoration, level-dependent electronic hearing protectors (HPs) in a high impulsive noise environment using participants who were very experienced in the regular use of passive HPs. The results indicate that this type of HP is well accepted by experienced users, particularly so, by those who appreciate reliable communication while wearing the devices.

Williams W.,National Acoustic Laboratories
Noise and Health | Year: 2012

From a study of recent hearing protector attenuation test data, this work presents a proposal to reconsider how data, gathered by recognized standard subjective test procedures, is used to calculate the single number performance rating of hearing protectors. Current practice is to embed the expected performance (mean) and the variation in performance (standard deviation) in a single rating figure. A proposal is made for clearly separating expected performance from the variation while retaining the use of the current subjective test procedures. This proposal is applicable to all current single number rating systems including SNR, NRR, SLC 80, and the newer ANSI NRS Ax.

Canton K.,University of New South Wales | Williams W.,National Acoustic Laboratories
Journal of Agromedicine | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to investigate how noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) or noise injury (NI) affects individuals and others of dairy farm communities in New Zealand. Using "grab" or opportunistic sampling at DairyNZ discussion groups and a recreational function, a survey questionnaire was completed by 74 participants from two dairy farming communities in New Zealand. Self-reported hearing difficulties were highlighted by 48% (42) of the 74 participants. The effects of NI on individuals and others included communication difficulties leading to the development of coping strategies, social isolation; decreased employment opportunities, loss of productivity, and increased effort and adjustments by family and work colleagues. Frustration, anxiety, stress, resentment, depression, and fatigue are also negative consequences that may contribute to a loss of quality of life and contribute to further health costs. Increased lateness, absenteeism, sickness and other behavioral aspects were not expressed as normal issues in the workplace, as the majority of the individuals are/were self-employed or working in a family business. This study shows that each year in New Zealand NI results in significant negative social, psychological, and economic consequences for those individuals affected, along with their families, friends, and work colleagues. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Williams W.,National Acoustic Laboratories
Journal of Health, Safety and Environment | Year: 2012

Occupational health professionals are aware that noise exposure estimates for employees must be made not taking into account any hearing protection that may be worn. So how can exposure estimates be made for individuals or groups when they wear hearing protectors in noise? It is a lot easier than first imagined based on a few solid practical principles. © CCH.

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