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Farmers’ work-day noise exposure

journal contribution
posted on 2015-04-15, 00:00 authored by Warwick Williams, Susan BrumbySusan Brumby, A Calvano, T Hatherell, Heidi Mason, C Mercer-Grant, A Hogan
Objective: This study aims to understand the extent offarmers’ exposure to hazardous noise, and trial and testthe ability of an on-farm noise audit report to improve awareness and preventative action towards farm based noise hazards.Design: Visits were made to working farms where noiseand dosimetry measurements undertaken. During return visits, the noise measurements were explained ina brief report. A follow-up questionnaire was imple-mented gathering feedback on the use or otherwise ofthe report.Setting: Working farms in Western Victoria and SEQueensland including dairy, beef, wool, prime lamb andcropping.Participants: Participants were 14 female and 37 male farm workers.Interventions: Noise exposure assessment of dailyactivities through dosimetry; measurements of noisy tasks and machinery; supply and interpretation of anoise audit report.Main outcome measures: Participants were suppliedwith a ‘noise report’ of their workplace together with an explanation of the report’s meaning to farm workers.Results: Men and women have similar at risk expo-sures. The average noise exposure was 1.09 Pa2h(LAeq,8h= 85.3 dB). This implies 163 000 Australian agricultural workers are at risk from hazardous noise.On-farm noise audit reports were a relevant and valuable feedback to farmers in relation to their potential noise hazards.Conclusions: Of those measured 51%, and by extrapo-lation 163 000 Australian agricultural workers, have noise exposure levels greater than the recommendedAustralian Standard of 1.01 Pa2h (85 dB). Men and women are equally exposed. On-farm noise auditreports are an effective feedback to increase awareness and improve hearing health



Australian journal of rural health




67 - 73




Weinheim, Germany





Grant ID

NHMRC ProjectGrant APP1033151.

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Wiley