Assessment of temporary hearing changes related to work as a bartender
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Klinika Audiologii i Foniatrii / Audiology and Phoniatrics Clinic)
Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Zakład Zagrożeń Fizycznych / Department of Physical Hazards)
Anna Wolniakowska   

Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Klinika Audiologii i Foniatrii, ul. św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź
Online publication date: 2019-01-17
Med Pr 2019;70(1):17–25
Background: Noise in entertainment industry often reaches high sound pressure levels. Nevertheless, the risk of hearing loss in this sector is insufficiently recognized. The aim of this study was the assessment of the relationship between noise exposure and temporary threshold shifts (TTS) for people working as bartenders at a variety of entertainment venues. Material and Methods: The study comprised a total of 18 bartenders (mean age was 25±7 years old) employed at a music club (N = 8), pub (N = 5) and discotheque (N = 5). Personal dosimeters were used for determining noise levels and frequency characteristics. Hearing was evaluated by pre- (before work) and post-exposure (up to 15 min after the end of work) pure tone audiometry. Hearing tests were carried out for bartenders during 2 or 3 sessions while working on weekends. Results: The mean personal noise exposure level normalized to a nominal 8-hour working day was 95 dBA, above 4 times higher than the accepted legal limit. The TTS values (10 dB HL or more) were significant at 4 kHz for both ears for 77% of bartenders. Conclusions: People working as bartenders represent a professional group with an increased risk of hearing loss. Raising awareness of this fact and implementing hearing protection programs in this group of workers is urgently needed, in line with the European Commission Directive (EU Directive 2003/10/EC). Med Pr. 2019;70(1):17–25