A review of trends in hearing thresholds of European oil refinery workers
The change of hearing thresholds was assessed in a study population of over 1000 noise-exposed oil refinery workers subject to noise at work regulations in Member States of the European Union. Audiometric data covering a period of approximately12 years were retrieved from refinery occupational health departments. The data were screened using established procedures, standardised for age according to international guidelines and subjected to statistical analysis to identify time trends and differences between subgroups of younger and older workers. From the analyses of the data it was concluded that the workers’ hearing did not deteriorate more than expected from natural ageing.