Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces: Facilitating staff to find contextual solutions to Music Induced Hearing Loss

July 7, 2010 at 4:51 am (essays)

it’s done, it’s in, it’s a pretty decent job i think, which is good because i now have to do the research. it’s also 5am past my birthday; my belated birthday present is to get my life back. first order of business is sleep. i can wonder what i used to do with my spare time, later.

Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces:
Facilitating staff to find contextual solutions
to Music Induced Hearing Loss

Contents
· Background and Significance
o Hearing Loss
o Noise Exposure
o ONIHL and Leisure Noise Research
o The Entertainment Industry
o Entertainment Staff Research
· Research Perspective – Critical
· Research Question and Objectives
· Research Locations
· Research Participants
· Research Approach – Participatory Action Research
· Research Methods – Focus Groups and Interventions
· Ethical Considerations
o Risk
o Benefit
o Consent
o Deception
o Privacy and Confidentiality
· Table of Acronyms
· References
· Attachment – Application for Adjustment to Ethics with Brief project description, Participant information form and Participant Consent form

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE

Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities in Western societies (Rogers et al. 2009) and it is on the increase. One in six Australians suffers from some degree of hearing loss, and this is forecast to grow to one in four by 2050 (Hear Us 2010, p. xiii). Impacts for the individual include not just the world seeming quieter, but feelings of isolation, withdrawal from society and depression as sufferers have difficulty hearing accurately in groups or where there is background noise. Furthermore, tinnitus, which is little understood but is linked to hearing damage, can range from mild and intermittent to constant and devastating (Cowan 2010).
A person’s hearing loss also affects everyone else around them, from miscommunication and having the TV up unbearably loud, to partners becoming carers and sharing in isolation. Economically, The costs of hearing loss to Australia were estimated at $11.75 billion in 2005, which represented 1.4 per cent of Australia’s then Gross Domestic Product, (Hear Us 2010, p. xiii) which includes hearing aids, implants, education, carers and support as well as lost earnings, tax forgone and welfare payments (p. 26).
Hearing loss can have many causes, for example congenital factors, age, accident, infection, disease and noise (p. 11). Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) represents 37% of all hearing loss (p.104) and is entirely preventable (p. 105).
Noise Exposure
Noise levels, as they affect the human ear, are discussed in A-weighted decibels (dB(A)) and exposure times. Australian regulations state that exposure of more than an average of 85 Decibels over eight hours (LAeq of 85dB(A)) is a dangerous daily noise dose (NOHSC:1007(2000) 2004). 85dB(A) can very roughly be described as the noise level in which one cannot have a conversation without shouting.
Furthermore, an increase of 3dB, though barely detectible, represents a doubling of sound power which means an average level of 88dB is only safe for four hours in a day. One’s daily dose can be exceeded by a mere 15 minutes at 100dB, or an instant at 140dB.
When the ear is exposed to excessive noise, it may experience a Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) which reduces the ability of the ear to hear quiet sounds. This can eventually translate to a Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS), as cilia, the fine hairs in the cochlea which register different frequencies, never regenerate once damaged (Maassen et al. 2001).
Previous studies of bar, nightclub, discotheque and music club staff cite average noise levels between 89dB and 107dB (‘Entertainment Noise in Western Australia’ 2005; Fleming 1996; Gunderson, Moline & Catalano 1997; Lee 1999; Sadhra et al. 2002) with staff being exposed for an average of six to twelve hours per shift (‘Entertainment Noise in Western Australia’ 2005). This suggests that staff in this industry are regularly exposed to unacceptably dangerous noise levels.
ONIHL and Leisure Noise Research
Within noise research, the two established areas include Occupational NIHL (ONIHL) and leisure noise. Much work has been done on a variety of topics in ONIHL, including measurement of noise levels in workplaces such as factories and building sites, assessment of equipment for how loud they are and how long they can be used. Studies have also investigated Hearing Loss Prevention education programs, which can involve many factors such as noise monitoring, hearing tests, training, policy, incentives, noise dampening, signage and earplugs or earmuffs (Daniell et al. 2006; Rogers et al. 2009). All this is fuelled by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws which impose the 85dB rule. Exposure reduction is taken seriously, especially in many large companies which have comprehensive hearing protection programs run by OHS officers. Workcover enforces the rules and can give out fines, and there is some awareness that workers can sue companies for not protecting them.
ONIHL research focuses on the industries considered to be at highest risk, including manufacturing, construction, transport and storage, mining and electricity, gas and water supply. (Hear Us 2010, p. 15) The hospitality and entertainment industries are starting to appear as a priority, but the research is limited. The entertainment industry is usually addressed with respect to the general measurement of noise within venues, as appropriate for patrons, rather than the specific exposure of the staff. Even the few studies that concentrate on staff consider the impact on them only through the measurement of their noise levels, exposure lengths and TTSs. Unfortunately, once researchers have discovered the dangers to hearing in these workplaces, very little is done to address the problems and lessen the impact.
The Entertainment Industry
The entertainment industry, while bound by the same laws as other industries, is notorious for non-compliance and rules are rarely enforced. When such workplaces consider noise levels, they commonly think only of the limits which are enforced in the Liquor Licensing Laws. These levels, however, are calculated only to protect the neighbours from noise irritation, and can be far above safe levels for those inside the venue. Another likely reason for the disparity between this industry and others is the overall perception of noise. Rather than seeing noise as, at best, an unimportant but undesirable by-product, there is a common perception of high levels of music and crowd noise as an indicator of a venue’s popularity, quality and success. Volume is one of the main commodities that a pub or club sells and, whether true or not, is often considered synonymous with ‘fun’, an essential part of a ‘good night out’.
Little is known about how these attitudes affect workers. More research on the entertainment industry has taken place within studies of leisure noise, alongside work on such noise sources as MP3 players, shooting, concerts, motor sports, power tools and playing musical instruments (Maassen et al. 2001; Neitzel et al. 2004). These studies of music venue noise focus on patrons, rarely looking beyond issues of noise exposure and threshold shift. This body of research therefore only glosses over the impact on staff and their particular situation. Many questions remain largely unexplored, regarding the specificities of workplace cultures in this industry, whether casual and brief employment involves significant exposure time, whether staff in these environments are likely to also engage in equally loud leisure noise as patrons are (Binge Listening 2010) and whether this should be allowed for in regulations for the workplace, the consequences of being unable to come and go as patrons can, and the common resistance to earplugs by staff and management.
The literature is almost silent on the ways to remedy the situation, instead focussing on the problem at the most basic level. Therefore, there is a gap in the literature, as the good work on programs within the ONIHL studies is unlikely to be directly transferable to the entertainment industry, even with the added insights from leisure research. Workplaces in the entertainment industry are “special and different” (‘Entertainment Noise in Western Australia’ 2005, p. 4). While studies of entertainment staff can learn from both sources, this research gap needs to be examined directly.
Entertainment Staff Research
This is not to say that no work has been done on entertainment staff. Four reports are available of studies in England, the USA and Singapore from 1996 to 2002, which focus solely on entertainment industry staff. Of these, all measure noise levels in the venue, two examine audiometry and two administer questionnaires limited to questions of risk perception, attitudes to risk, availability of personal hearing protectors and information, hearing and symptoms. They all come to the same simple conclusion: these workplaces are dangerous. (Fleming 1996; Gunderson, Moline & Catalano 1997; Lee 1999; Sadhra et al. 2002).
The two Australian documents cover more ground. A study from Western Australia (‘Entertainment Noise in Western Australia’ 2005) and one from Queensland (Groothoff 1999) stand out as covering more ground, including some discussion of changes that venue managers can effect. However, most of the reports’ suggestions cannot be taken up by workers, without external resources. Moreover they are successful in conjunction with enforcement, but may not be adequate in New South Wales, where enforcing bodies do not yet focus on this issue.
Despite the paucity of targeted research, progress is being made. The recommendations and associated funding of the Hear Us report (2010) and the media attention surrounding the Binge Listening report (2010), both of which do mention entertainment workers, have recently made NIHL topical locally.
The proposed research will hopefully make some contribution towards building the momentum, which will put pressure on the industry to take more responsibility, thus attracting more research and cyclically improving workers’ conditions and capacity to control their hearing health.

RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE – CRITICAL
While there may always be scope for measuring more venues and testing more ears, approaching all noise research in this way would leave many questions unanswered. The questions raised in this research regard not just levels, but people, their attitudes and motivations and the social contexts in which they live and work. As the goals of this project are significantly different from those of most of the discussed literature, a different approach is also required.
Epistemologically, a critical perspective believes that knowledge cannot be separated from its context and ideology (Crotty 1998, p. 157). This includes the researcher, who therefore needs to acknowledge bias rather than attempting to be value-free. In this study the researcher is employed in a research organisation, rather than an entertainment venue, hence this will be acknowledged and addressed by working cooperatively with people who actually do live within the latter context, teaching them research skills so that it becomes ‘our’ research, not ‘mine’.
Nor does critical research attempt to be directly generalisable, as it considers truth to be relative and knowledge to be political and require interpretation. Instead it attempts to make real change in people’s lives, including the power inequalities they are subject to, and the dominant ideologies they accept. Following this principle, this project does not expect to uncover, for example, the statistically largest barrier to ONIHL prevention in the targeted industry. Rather it aims to provide an outcome that makes the physical, behavioural and attitudinal changes required for it to work well in its physical and social environment, and to publish an account that can be used and interpreted by others for their own contexts.
Critical research focuses on qualitative outcomes, unlike positivist research which values quantitative data over qualitative. Another common perspective, Interpretivism does value qualitative research, yet an interpretivist study of this topic would only answer half the questions; one of Critical research’s greatest improvements over Interpretivism is its insistence on praxis (FASS 2010, p. 85). This mix of theory and practice, or resarch and action, is essential for this project to delve beyond what people do and what they think they would do in an appropriate situation, to making that situation.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIVES
The primary research question for this study is:
How do people working in noisy entertainment industry environments look after their OHS and how can they learn and organise to protect their hearing?
As the research is integrated with action and further questions will be framed by the participants during the course of the process, the following objectives will further guide the process:
1) To gain a greater understanding of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about OHS, noise and hearing loss prevention of staff working at noisy entertainment venues.
2) To create positive changes to noise exposure, attitudes or protection within participants’ workplaces, through successful and sustainable interventions with the potential to spread beyond the targeted workplace.

RESEARCH LOCATIONS
The time and place of the focus groups will be decided to accommodate the participants. The venue need only be accessible, quiet and not affiliated with any of the participants’ workplaces. This will prevent dropout for logistical reasons, and encourage participants to feel involved in the process.
Interventions will take place at the relevant workplaces, and any other location deemed necessary, with data analysis and storage at the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL), 126 Greville St, Chatswood 2067.

POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS
Participants shall be employed to work in dangerously noisy amplified environments in the entertainment industry, such as pubs, nightclubs or similar venues where the LAeq, 8h is expected to regularly exceed 85dB. Pre-testing of workplace noise levels will not be necessary, with verbal evaluation alongside comparison with available data from other venues sufficient to determine eligibility. Preference will be given to staff of venues with highest expected noise exposure if any selection becomes appropriate.
Participants will be general staff, in such roles as security and bar staff. Musicians and DJs are excluded from the first stage of research as they have been more extensively studied than general staff, and are anticipated to hold different attitudes about noise and hearing health to staff who are not directly engaged in music production. Managers will also be excluded.
As the social context is under examination, eligible participants will be drawn from communities of practice of entertainment industry workers. Managers are therefore excluded, as their engagement in workplace dynamics is expected to differ from their staff’s. This will also reduce the possibility of restricting discussion, breaches of privacy or commercial interests interfering in the process.
Optimally each participant will know and work with other, if not all participants in their group, to increase the possibility of collective power for making changes in their workplace.
As the research is to work with real contexts rather than a simulated, average scenario, participants will not be controlled, for age, gender, education, hearing knowledge, hearing health, hours worked or length of time in the industry.
Research participants will be recruited through a variety of methods in order to access as wide a variety of people as practicable, possibly including personal contacts, any available contact lists from previous research or unions, approaching staff at workplaces and through agencies with management permission. Interested parties will be encouraged to tell other friends in the industry. Notices will be put up on notice boards and leaflet stands in universities, entertainment districts and any other favourable places. Emails will be sent out on accessible email groups which cater to an appropriate demographic.
6-8 people will be sought for each focus group, with a minimum of three groups. Further groups will be optional, and may include a wider selection of people, possibly including OHS officers, external union representatives, managers, DJs, musicians, former staff or staff in related workplaces if their input becomes considered useful.
Participants in the second stage will be drawn from the first, along with others from their workplaces according to the parameters decided by those implementing the intervention.

RESEARCH APPROACH – PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach which intergrates research and action in a continuing cycle of planning, action, observation and reflection. While this is not so new – “There is always a new action resulting – even if it is just the same as the old” (Wadsworth 1998). PAR specifically acknowledges the cycle and doesn’t try to fit it into a linear form.
PAR requires a community of participants to take an active role in all aspects of the action and research. PAR aims to even up the power imbalance between the researcher and the participants as much as possible by valuing and trusting the participants’ ideas and opinions on their own situations. Eventually the researcher will assist in implementation of the participants’ ideas and train them in research so they can control it themselves (Dick 1997).
This approach is particularly appropriate for this project as the complex attitudes and social structures it deals with appear to be resistant to existing procedures for creating change. Staff are expected to be more likely to implement and sustain concrete and attitudinal changes when they own the process and don’t rely on external resources.

RESEARCH METHODS – FOCUS GROUPS AND INTERVENTIONS
This research is planned in two stages, with scope for further continuation. The first is a series of focus groups. A short presentation will be given on current knowledge about noise and hearing loss prevention, then a series of questions will encourage participants to discuss a range of topics such as attitudes and knowledge about OHS, noise and hearing health, workplace culture, the kinds of solutions they think would be feasible in their work environments and what they would be able and willing to do to implement these ideas. The discussion will be recorded and notes taken. Beforehand, participants will fill out a consent form and short survey about demographics, knowledge and attitudes, which can be repeated further through the project. At the end participants will be encouraged to participate in the second stage of the research and their contact details recorded for this purpose.
The second stage will involve facilitating participants in staging interventions of some of the ideas generated in the focus groups. Few details can be specified until the focus groups as, in keeping with PAR, all content and methods will be planned, carried out, evaluated and reflected on collectively between the researcher and the participants. Data shall be collected from observation of the programs and examination of their sustainability, participant reflection, repeating the questionnaire from before the focus groups and any other method decided on by the participants.
Further research may be required to support the findings of the focus groups and interventions beyond the targeted workplaces, however these will only be considered further into the process. Methods may forseeably include questionnaires to establish wider appeal of ideas, ideology critique of government and workplace policy and implementation, hearing tests, workplace noise measurement, interviewing management, further focus groups with different groups of participants, or other options generated by the process.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
This research is a sub-project of the National Acoustic Laboratories’ “Barriers and Enablers to Noise Exposure Reduction”. Attached is the Variation of Ethics application to allow contact details to be kept for the duration of the project.
Risk
As the project will involve participants intervening in their own workplaces, close attention will need to be paid to not jeopardising the relationships between employees and management, including not releasing identified information from the focus groups without explicit permission, even when that information is the reason why the other parties are involved.
Excluding managers from the research would not be an acceptable solution to the privacy issues. Not only can their co-operation greatly increase access to the workplace, but boundaries between barstaff and management are not always clearly demarcated, managers generally have even higher exposures than their staff (Ong & Govan 2010) so would also benefit from learning about and taking control of their hearing health, and solutions found by participants may very well involve interaction with managers.
While hostility from management is always a possibility, the project is not intended as a threat to the workplace. Even if an organisation is profiting by endangering its staff, the solutions found by the participants are likely to be healthier for the organisation than fines and legal proceedings which, though less common to date than in other industries, will become more common as awareness grows throughout society.
Benefit
Benefits from participation will include increased understanding of NIHL and ability to control their hearing health. Those involved in both stages will also gain research skills, the possibility to see their ideas realised and effect change in their workplace, as well as gaining concrete improvements to their workplaces.
Incentives may also be offered for participation in focus groups, such as a meal, $20 or a pair of high fidelity earplugs.
Consent
Consent will be sought from all participants in each stage of the project. A draft information sheet and consent form for the focus group is attached.
Deception
No deception will be practiced.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Information such as contact details and test results will be stored in an appropriate secure manner at NAL until completion of the project and then destroyed. The information will not be used for any other purposes.
All data will be de-identified, except for details for contacting participants, which will be kept separately and destroyed at the end of the project.

Table of Acronyms

dB(A) Decibels, A-weighted to approximate the human ear’s reception
LAeq Average level
LAeq, 8h Daily dose, level averaged over eight hours
NAL National Acoustic Laboratories
NIHL Noise Induced Hearing Loss
OHS Occupational Health and Safety
ONIHL Occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss
PAR Participatory Action Research
PTS Permanent Threshold Shift
TTS Temporary Threshold Shift

Reference List

Binge Listening 2010, Australian Hearing, Chatswood, Australia.

Cowan, R. 2010, ‘Tinnitus and Intelligent Hearing Protection in the Workplace’, paper presented to the Getting Heard Symposium, Sydney.

Crotty, M. 1998, The Foundations of Social Research, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, St Leonards.

Daniell, W.E., Swan, S.S., McDaniel, M.M., Camp, J.E., Cohen, M.A. & Stebbins, J.G. 2006, ‘Noise exposure and hearing loss prevention programmes after 20 years of regulations in the United States’, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 63, pp. 343-351.

Dick, B. 1997, ‘Participative Processes’, Resource Papers in Action Research. http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/arp/partproc.html

‘Entertainment Noise in Western Australia’ 2005, paper presented to the ACOUSTICS 2005, Busselton, Western Australia.

Fleming, C. 1996, ‘Assessment of noise exposure level of bar staff in discotheques’, Applied Acoustics, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 85-94.

Groothoff, B. 1999, ‘Incorporating effective noise control in music entertainment venues? Yes, it can be done’, J Occup Health Safety – Aust NZ, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 543-550.

Gunderson, E., Moline, J. & Catalano, P. 1997, ‘Risks of developing noise-induced hearing loss in employees of urban music clubs’, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 75-79.

Hear Us: Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia 2010, The Senate Community Affairs References Committee.

Lee, L.T. 1999, ‘A Study of the Noise Hazard to Employees in Local Discotheques’, Singapore Medical Journal, vol. 40, no. 9.

Maassen, M., Babisch, W., Bachmann, K.D., Ising, H., Lehnert, G., Plath, P., Plinkert, P., Rebentisch, E., Schuschke, G., Spreng, M., Stange, G., Struwe, V. & Zenner, H.P. 2001, ‘Ear damage caused by leisure noise’, Noise & Health, vol. 4, no. 13, pp. 1-16.

National Standard for Occupational Noise NOHSC:1007(2000) 2004, in The Australian Government National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (ed.) 2nd edn, Canberra.

Neitzel, R., Seixas, N., Olson, J., Daniell, W. & Goldman, B. 2004, ‘Nonoccupational noise: exposures associated with routine activities’, J. Accoust. Soc. Am., vol. 115, no. 1, pp. 237-245.

Ong, A. & Govan, C. 2010, ‘Workplace Noise’, paper presented to the Getting Heard Symposium, Sydney.

Rogers, B., Meyer, D., Summery, C., Scheessele, D., Atwell, T., Ostendorf, J., Randolph, S.A. & Buckheit, K. 2009, ‘What Makes a Successful Hearing Conservation Program?’ Continuing Education, vol, 57, no. 8, pp. 321-335.

Sadhra, S., Jackson, C.A., Ryder, T. & Brown, M.J. 2002, ‘Noise exposure and hearing loss among student employees working in university entertainment venues’, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 455-463.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 2010, 013952 Research Learning Guide, University of Technology, Sydney

Wadsworth, Y. 1998, ‘What is Participatory Action Research?’ Action Research International.
http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/ari/p-ywadsworth98.html

Australian Hearing Human Research Ethics Committee
Application for Variation

Project no: R 4.1.3a

1. Title of project :
Barriers and Enablers to Noise Exposure Reduction
2. Principal investigators:
W Williams, M Gilliver, K Alway
3. Section:
Prevention
4. Location in which proposed study is intended to be carried out:
Data to be gathered at various undecided sites with data analysis and storage at NAL, Chatswood.
5. a. Describe briefly the aim of the project:
This is a sub-project of the total project previously approved. The overall research objectives of the project are to i) increase the awareness of noise as a hearing health hazard;ii) engender a hearing safety culture; and iii) reduce actual noise exposure.This sub-project will work with individuals who work at noisy entertainment venues as described in the attached project description.
b. Proposed commencement date: July 2010
c. Projected completion date: December 2010

6. Classification of project:
o Class 2: Project with low risk
7. Description of requested variation:
The variation to this sub-project is to gather and retain personal contact information of participants so that they may be re-contacted after the focus groups for involvement in an intervention process, and after the interventions for pre/post comparison purposes.Gathering such information as is indicated by Information Privacy Principles of the Commonwealth Privacy Act No 119 of 1998 (as amended) shall be limited to only what is considered necessary; stored in a safe, secure and private manner and destroyed when no longer required at the completion of the project.
8. Does the study protocol require that “informed consent” be obtained in writing from the participant or from the person who is legally responsible for the participant’s welfare?
Yes.Copy of information and consent form attached.
9. What information will be given to participants in order that the request of “informed consent” is met?
Copy of information and consent form attached.
10. What measures will be taken to protect the privacy of individual participants in terms of the test results and other confidential data obtained in the study?
Information will be stored in an appropriate secure manner at NAL until completion of the project and then destroyed. The information will not be used for any other purposes.
11. Will direct benefits accrue to the participants from data obtained in the study?
Yes. It is anticipated that individuals will be more effective in being able to reduce their noise exposure at work.
12. Will there be benefits to the community at large from this study?
Yes. It is anticipated that as a result of the intervention overall exposure of individuals working in this industry will be reduced.
Application submitted by (name) W Williams
(Signature)
(Date) July 01st 2010

Attached:

– Brief project description
– Participant information form
– Participant consent form

Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces:
Facilitating staff to find contextual solutions to Music Induced Hearing Loss

This project aims to reduce the incidence of hearing loss of staff in the entertainment industry by discovering and understanding the barriers and enablers that may exist to staff looking after their hearing health, and to devise, implement and evaluate specific interventions to address the issue.

Outcomes:

1) A greater understanding the knowledge and attitudes about OHS, noise and hearing health for staff working at noisy entertainment venues.

2) To create positive changes to noise exposure, attitudes or protection within participants’ workplaces, through successful and sustainable interventions with the potential to spread beyond the targeted workplace

Description of Research:

The first stage of this project will consist of a minimum of three focus groups of people employed in dangerously loud music venues such as nightclubs. Participants will discuss a range of topics such as attitudes and knowledge about OHS, noise and hearing health, workplace culture and the kinds of solutions they think would be feasible in their work environments. Beforehand participants will fill out a consent form and short survey about demographics, knowledge and attitudes, which can be repeated further through the project. At the end participants be invited to participate in the second stage of the research and their contact details recorded for this purpose.

The second stage will involve facilitating participants in staging interventions of some of the ideas generated in the focus groups. This will run according to Participatory Action Research, which requires participants to take an active role in all aspects of the action and the research, and a continuous cycle of planning, action, observation and reflection. Interventions will be planned, carried out and evaluated collaboratively between NAL who are experts in the topic and the participants who are experts in the context, and reflection will offer the possibility of new interventions or ways of proceeding which can be explored in a further cycle of research and action.

[on NAL letterhead]

[20/7/10]
Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces:
Facilitating staff to find contextual solutions to Music Induced Hearing Loss

Information for Participants

This study is being conducted by the National Acoustic Laboratories as part of Project R4.1.3(a) Barriers to Noise Exposure Reduction, to explore knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about occupational noise induced hearing loss (ONIHL) in the entertainment industry, and possibilities for action to address the situation.

We will be asking you to participate in a two hour focus group, at a time and place appropriate for the participants. Attendees will subsequently be invited to participate in the second stage of the research, involving implementing and evaluating solutions generated by the focus group in participants’ workplaces.

Although we value your participation, you are free to decide whether you will participate, and to withdraw at any time.

Research outcomes may be published in appropriate academic and peer-reviewed journals. Privacy of information will be strictly observed. Personal information or data collected will be treated in a confidential manner. Information to be released on the research will not allow you to be identified. Under no circumstances will personal information or data that could lead to identification of the individual be released to your employer without your explicit permission.

If you have any concerns about this project at any stage, you are welcome to contact the Research Assistant, Kate Alway on 02- 9412 6754.

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the Australian Hearing Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or reservations about any ethical aspect of this research, you may contact the Committee through the Secretary, Dale Treglown on 02- 9412 6862. Any complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated, and you will be informed of the outcome.

Kate Alway

Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces:
Facilitating staff to find contextual solutions to Music Induced Hearing Loss

Consent form for participation in
Entertainment venues as noisy workplaces

Date: ______________
I, ____________________________, have read and understood this Information and Consent Form. I am willing to participate in this research.
Signed: _______________________ (Participant)
Signed: _______________________ (Researcher)

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