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Private industry workers suffered 14,500 hearing loss cases in 2019

June 30, 2021

There were 14,500 work-related hearing loss illness cases in 2019. They occurred at a rate of 1.4 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. These cases accounted for 11.4 percent of the 127,200 private industry illness cases. Ten years earlier, 11.7 percent of private industry illness cases were due to hearing loss illnesses (19,500 cases), and they occurred at a rate of 2.2 per 10,000 full-time workers.

Number and rate of hearing loss illness cases, private industry, 2009–19
Year Number of hearing loss illnesses Rate of hearing loss illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers

2009

19,500 2.2

2010

18,800 2.2

2011

18,300 2.1

2012

18,400 2.0

2013

18,100 2.0

2014

18,200 1.9

2015

16,800 1.8

2016

16,500 1.7

2017

14,000 1.4

2018

15,300 1.5

2019

14,500 1.4

Of the 14,500 hearing loss illness cases in private industry, 75.9 percent (11,000 cases) occurred in the manufacturing industry. Of those 11,000 cases, 18.2 percent occurred in transportation equipment manufacturing (2,000 cases), 16.4 percent in food manufacturing (1,800 cases), and 12.7 percent in fabricated metal product manufacturing (1,400 cases).

Number of hearing loss illness cases in selected manufacturing industries, private industry, 2019
Industry Number of cases

Transportation equipment manufacturing

2,000

Food manufacturing

1,800

Fabricated metal product manufacturing

1,400

Wood product manufacturing

900

Machinery manufacturing

800

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses relies on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recordkeeping guidelines These guidelines determine occupational hearing loss by comparing a baseline hearing test to one following the injury or illness in the workplace.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Private industry workers suffered 14,500 hearing loss cases in 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/private-industry-workers-suffered-14500-hearing-loss-cases-in-2019.htm (visited September 17, 2021).

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