Advances in Hearing Conservation Practices: An Interview With Mark Stephenson It is estimated that 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work (Stephenson et al., 2003). The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created two separate agencies dedicated to promoting worker health and safety: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2008
Advances in Hearing Conservation Practices: An Interview With Mark Stephenson
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dawn Konrad-Martin
    Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development (VA RR&D) National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR), Portland, OR
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2008
Advances in Hearing Conservation Practices: An Interview With Mark Stephenson
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2008, Vol. 12, 31-39. doi:10.1044/hhd12.2.31
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2008, Vol. 12, 31-39. doi:10.1044/hhd12.2.31
Abstract

It is estimated that 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work (Stephenson et al., 2003). The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created two separate agencies dedicated to promoting worker health and safety: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Research at NIOSH informs OSHA regulations. This report comprises an interview with Mark Stephenson, PhD, Scientific Research Coordinator for the NIOSH noise and hearing loss research program. He provides insights into the latest advances in hearing conservation practices, what works and why. Current hearing conservation practices developed at NIOSH and not yet mandated by OSHA use methods borrowed from evidence-based health communication theories to change the ways individuals view the problem of noise exposure, eliminate barriers that prevent effective hearing protector use, and create a culture of self-efficacy with respect to hearing protector use.

Acknowledgments
The author thanks Margaret Packwood, B.A., for her help researching aspects of this article. Work supported by Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Research & Development Grant C4447K.
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