For construction workers, hearing loss is a slow, imperceptible process.

To help raise awareness and understanding of the impact of hearing loss, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently developed a Hearing Loss Simulator.

This program allows the user to predict exposure based on age, gender, years of work and level of noise. It also allows the user to designate the specific kinds of equipment that cause his or her noise exposure (most examples come from the mining industry for which the CD was originally developed). Finally, for the purposes of the demonstration, the user can specify whether he or she, after the loss, is trying to hear a female or male voice. The program then returns a graphic presentation of hearing capacity in various frequency ranges, depending on whether the individual suffers mild, moderate or severe loss.

The Hearing Loss Simulator is available for free and can be downloaded at the NIOSH Mine Safety webpage.

[Steve Clark]