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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7054276, 7 pages
Research Article

Noise Exposure and Hearing Capabilities of Quarry Workers in Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study

1Center for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2Department of Nursing, Garden City University College, Kumasi, Ghana
3Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Education, Kumasi, Ghana
4Department of Community Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 22 July 2015; Accepted 21 December 2015

Academic Editor: Benny Zee

Copyright © 2016 Charles Kwame R. Gyamfi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Although quarry operations have high economic significance, the effects they cause to the workers in terms of excessive noise production cannot be overlooked. This cross-sectional study assessed the extent of noise exposure and its influence on hearing capabilities among quarry workers in Ashanti region. Methods. The study involved 400 workers randomly selected from five quarries in Ashanti region from April to June 2012. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, physical examination, and audiological assessments. A logistic regression model was fitted to assess independent predictors of hearing loss. Results. All the machines used at the various quarries produced noise that exceeded the minimum threshold with levels ranging from 85.5 dBA to 102.7 dBA. 176 (44%) of study respondents had hearing threshold higher than 25 dBA. 18% and 2% of these were moderately (41–55 dBA) and severely (71–90 dBA) impaired, respectively. Age, duration of work, and use of earplugs independently predicted the development of hearing loss. Use of earplugs showed a protective effect on the development of hearing loss (OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.25, 0.84). Conclusion. This study provides empirical evidence on the extent of damage caused to quarry workers as a result of excessive noise exposure. This will support the institution of appropriate protective measures to minimize this threat.