Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Manufacturing Industries
How Much Does It Cost to the Workers, Families and Society?
Professor Dr. Syed Mohamed Aljunid, Noraita Binti Tahir
Manufacturing industry is one of the most important sectors that contribute significantly to the economy of Malaysia. More than half a million workers in Malaysia work in this industry and many of them are exposed to loud noises of more than 85dB that is harmful to health. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the highest reported occupational disease affecting around 16% of workers globally. In this book, we reported a study conducted in 26 manufacturing industries that employed around 270,000 workers with more than 40% of them were exposed to noises that potentially cause NIHL. This cross-sectional study designed with face-to-face interviews using questionnaires conducted among Occupational Safety and Health practitioners and workers selected from these industries. Direct and indirect cost was imputed component covering cost of medical care and rehabilitation, transportation, loss of productive time and investigations. Costing data in the government hospital was obtained from casemix information system from a tertiary teaching hospital. The study confirmed that NIHL among workers in manufacturing industry imposed a huge economic burden for Malaysia. In order to mitigate this problem, the existing and yet out-dated noise regulation need to be reviewed. Meanwhile employers need to implement hearing conservation program more effectively.