Visit for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.

You are here

OSH-10 Data Details

Expand All

OSH-10 Reduce new cases of work-related, noise-induced hearing loss

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
Current Population Survey
Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
per 10,000 full-time workers
Baseline (Year): 
2.2 (2008)
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement

Number of reported work-related non-fatal illnesses due to occupational hearing loss


Total number of hours worked by workers

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Retained from HP2010 objective
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data: 

    From the 2008 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses:


    Tell us about the Case

    Go to your completed OSHA Form 300. Copy the case information from that form into the spaces below.

    Employee’s name________

    Job title ________

    Date of injury or onset of illness ___/___/___

    Number of days away from work_____

    Number of days of job transfer or restriction_____

    Tell us about the Employee

    Check the category which best describes the employee's regular type of job or work: (optional)

    1. Office, professional, business, or management staff
    2. Sales
    3. Product assembly, manufacture
    4. Repair, installation or service of machines, equipment
    5. Construction
    6. Other (specify)
    7. Healthcare
    8. Delivery or driving
    9. Food service
    10. Cleaning, maintenance of building, grounds
    11. Material handling (e.g. stocking, loading/unloading, moving, etc.)
    12. Farming

    Employee’s race or ethnic background: [optional-check one or more]

    1. American Indian or Alaska Native
    2. Asian
    3. Black or African American
    4. Hispanic or Latino
    5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    6. White
    7. Not available

    [NOTE: You may either answer questions (3) to (13) or attach a copy of a supplementary document that answers them.]

    Employee’s age: ___OR date of birth: Month___Day___Year___

    Employee’s date hired: Month___Day___Year___

    OR check length of service at establishment when incident occurred:

    1. Less than 3 months
    2. From 3 to 11 months
    3. From 1 to 5 years
    4. More than 5 years

    Employee’s gender:

    1. Male
    2. Female

    Tell us about the incident

    [Answer the questions below or attach a copy of a supplementary document that answers them.]

    Was employee treated in an emergency room?

    1. yes
    2. no

    Was employee hospitalized overnight as an in-patient?

    1. yes
    2. no

    Time employee began work_____

    1. am
    2. pm

    Time of event_____

    1. am
    2. pm OR
    3. Check if time cannot be determined

    What was the employee doing just before the incident occurred? Describe the activity as well as the tools, equipment, or material the employee was using. Be specific. Examples: “climbing a ladder while carrying roofing materials”; “spraying chlorine from hand sprayer”; “daily computer key-entry.”

    What happened? Tell us how the injury or illness occurred.
    Examples: “When ladder slipped on wet floor, worker fell 20 feet”; “Worker was sprayed with chlorine when gasket broke during replacement”; “Worker developed soreness in wrist over time.”

    What was the injury or illness? Tell us the part of the body that
    was affected and how it was affected; be more specific than “hurt,”
    “pain,” or “sore.” Examples: “strained back”; “chemical burn,
    hand”; “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

    What object or substance directly harmed the employee?
    Examples: “concrete floor”; “chlorine”; “radial arm saw.” If this
    question does not apply to the incident, leave it blank.


    From the 2008 Current Population Survey - Labor Force Questionnaire:


    (THE WEEK BEFORE LAST/LAST WEEK), did (name/you) do ANY work for (pay/either pay or profit)?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Retired
    4. Disabled
    5. Unable to work


    ((THE WEEK BEFORE LAST/LAST WEEK), did (name/you) do any unpaid work in the family business or farm??

    1. Yes
    2. No


    (How many hours per week (do/does) (name/you) USUALLY work at (your/his/her) (job?/ main job?)

    1. Enter number of hours (00-99) Hours each week
    2. (V) Hours vary each week


    How many hours per week (do/does) (you/he/she) USUALLY work at (your/his/her) other (job/ jobs)?

    1. Enter number of hours (00-99) Hours each week
    2. (V) Hours vary each week


    (THE WEEK BEFORE LAST/LAST WEEK), did (name/you) work any overtime or extra hours (at(his/her) MAIN job that / that)(you/he/she) (do/does) not usually work?

    1. Yes
    2. No


    How many ADDITIONAL hours did (you/he/she) work?

    Enter number of hours


    (LAST WEEK/THE WEEK BEFORE LAST), how many hours did ( you/he/she) ACTUALLY work at (your/his/her) (job?/MAIN job?)?

    Enter number of hours
    (00 - 99)


    (THE WEEK BEFORE LAST/LAST WEEK), how many hours did ( you/he/she) ACTUALLY work at (your/his/her) other (job/ jobs?)?

    Enter number of hours
    (00 - 99)

Data Collection Frequency: 
Methodology Notes: 

    The SOII is a cooperative Federal - State program in which employer reports are collected annually from a nationally representative sample of private industry establishments. The survey measures nonfatal injuries and illnesses only and excludes the self-employed, farms with fewer than 11 employees, private household workers, and employees in Federal government agencies. For the first time in 2008, the SOII provided national public sector estimates covering nearly 19 million state and local government workers.

    Noise-induced hearing loss for recordkeeping purposes is a change in hearing threshold relative to the baseline audiogram of an average of 10 dB or more in either ear at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz and the employee's total hearing level is 25 decibels (dB) or more above the audiometric zero (also averaged at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz) in the same ear(s). The incidence rates represent the number of illnesses per 10,000 full-time workers and were calculated as: (N/EH) x 20,000,000, where N=number of illnesses, EH=total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year, and 20,000,000=base for 10,000 equivalent full-time workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year. Information on the type of industry for the numerator is based on employer responses and converted to North American Industry Classification system (NAICS) codes.

    Work-related noise-induced hearing loss continues to be a significant public health problem, accounting for nearly 10% of all recordable illnesses annually.

Caveats and Limitations: 
The SOII began tracking hearing loss in 2004, with technical support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Although the employer reported data are useful, there are a few caveats to consider when assessing this data for work-related noise-induced hearing loss, specifically: • The BLS data are not a full sample. BLS samples a portion of the industries that submit data to the survey. • Most of the data recorded on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping forms represent hearing loss from only one sector – Manufacturing. Moreover, in several key industry sectors including Construction and Mining, hearing loss is substantially under-reported, thereby artificially suppressing the overall incidence of hearing loss. • To be a “recordable” hearing loss, workers’ hearing thresholds must be substantially poorer than their baseline levels. In fact, by the time a worker has lost enough hearing to be recorded on the OSHA Log 300, he or she has met the criteria for hearing impairment. Thus, recordable hearing losses should be viewed as a sentinel of hearing impairment rather than as an indicator of early stages of occupational hearing loss. Recent reports, including a 2009 GAO report, have questioned the completeness and accuracy of the employer reports included in SOII. BLS is conducting research to address the potential undercount in SOII, and NIOSH has recently begun research to increase understanding of barriers and incentives for workers to report injuries. Additionally, in October 2009, OSHA began a program to emphasize recordkeeping, including having OSHA inspectors review occupational injury and illness records prepared by businesses.


Additional resources about the objective

  1. BLS [2009]. Survey of occupational injuries and illnesses. Nonfatal (OSHA recordable) injuries and illnesses. Industry incidence rates and counts. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Safety and Health Statistics Program. See News Release USDL 09-1302, October 29, 2009.
  2. DOL. News Release. U.S. Labor Department's OSHA begins National Emphasis Program on recordkeeping to determine accuracy of worker injury and illness data. Washington, DC: Department of Labor, OSHA, October 1, 2009, O0-775-NAT.
  3. Government Accounting Office. Workplace safety and health: Enhancing OSHA's records audit process could improve the accuracy of worker injury and illness data. October 2009, GAO-10-10.
  4. Ruser J. Examining evidence on whether BLS undercounts workplace injuries and illnesses. Monthly Labor Review, August 2008:20-32.