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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

versión On-line ISSN 1989-7790versión impresa ISSN 0465-546X


VALERO-PACHECO, Ivonne; RIANO-CASALLAS, Martha Isabel  y  RODRIGUEZ-PAEZ, Frady. Approach to a cost-effectiveness model of hearing protectors in the workplace. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2014, vol.60, n.235, pp.313-321. ISSN 1989-7790.

Introduction: In Colombia the poor information available of cost effectiveness assessment models of hearing protection to prevent work noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss, as well as the reliability of information on the level of Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that is provided by the manufacturers of hearing protectors is the justification for development of this research. Objectives: The aim of this study is proposed a model for evaluating cost-effectiveness of hearing protectors in the Colombian market according to needs against noise attenuation provided by Colombian laws. Materials and Methods: In the study was designed a model of cost effectiveness of hearing protectors in Colombia. For this purpose would selected one earmuffs and one earplugs offered in the Colombian market. The methodology applied was ANSI S3.19 to determine the NRR. The trial involved 21 subjects. The model considered variables as the annual equivalent cost, the real attenuation level and the Cost Effectiveness ratio. Results: Noise Reduction Rating provided by the manufacturers technical specifications differ from the results found in the trial. In earmuffs was 37% less than expected and earplugs was 59%. The CER for earmuffs was COP $ 90,055 for one unit of effectiveness, while CER earplugs was COP $ 465,034. Discussion/Conclusions: Differences in the level of efficacy observed may be affected by human factors, the trial methodology and the characteristics of the hearing protector; however these findings are consistent with the NIOSH recommendation on reducing NRR. It is important to consider application of cost-effectiveness models for the selection and buy personal protective equipment in enterprises, leading to incorporate a worker protection policy according to the resources available in the company.

Palabras clave : ear protective devices; noise; cost-effectiveness evaluation; cost-benefit analysis.

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