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Hearing Heroes: Agricultores ouvem quando o pesquisador da U-M ensina saúde auditiva

mudanças positivas como esta parece tão difícil de alcançar, if you’re in a conversation with Bruce Breuninger, you’ll have to repeat yourself at least once. Michigan is home to a large population of farmers (aproximadamente 80,000 farmers and 52,000 fazendas, according to the U.S. Departamento de Agricultura), and farming is second only to construction in noise-related hearing loss.

Breuninger, a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Dexter, Mich., suffers hearing loss from years of operating skid loaders and other loud farm equipment. Mas, it’s not as bad as his dad’s––”he’s stone deaf,” Breuninger said.


Por esta razão, Marjorie McCullagh, professor da Universidade de Michigan School of Nursing, passou as últimas duas décadas de sua carreira pesquisando maneiras de influenciar o uso de proteção auditiva dos agricultores.

Universidade de Michigan Escola de professor de Enfermagem Marjorie C. McCullagh investiga maneiras de incentivar os agricultores a usar proteção auditiva e evitar a perda de audição.

Marjorie C. McCullagh

Seu trabalho sobre a segurança ouvindo começou em 1996, e desde então ela desenvolveu programas de educação de vários auditivos, incluindo ouve no Farm, which consists of training and online education materials for adults. That intervention gave rise to Hearing Heroes, a program targeting farm and rural youth. Further hearing loss can be prevented in Breuninger and his father, and avoided altogether in later generations, McCullagh believes.

Hearing Heroes was adopted by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation to present at its Safety Day events across the country, which teach kids safe farming practices. As Progressive Agriculture offers McCullagh’s hearing program at more of its training sites, Hearing Heroes could reach as many as 100,000 people annually.

The University of Michigan's Hearing Heroes program helps children learn about how to protect their hearing.

Kids learn about hearing protection at Safety Day

“Farm workers are a very unique population in that they are generally excluded from regulations that protect most other workers from common workplace hazards,” McCullagh said. “The farm youth project actually started with a conversation with adult farmers who expressed to me great concern about the health of their children, particularly as it relates to their noise exposure on the farm.”

Many children who live on farms start experiencing hearing loss in high schoolNoise-induced hearing loss is particularly devastating because it’s irreversible, and medication and surgery don’t help. Among the estimated 1.3 million farmers nationwide, hearing loss could be as high as 72 por cento, which is much higher than among nonfarm workers. McCullagh said farmers don’t need fancy equipment to determine if they need hearing protection.

“If the noise is loud enough that you have to raise your voice to communicate with someone who’s about arm’s length from you, you need to do something to protect yourself," ela disse.

Jeannine Hemry, a volunteer educator at a recent farm Safety Day in Caro, Mich., said it’s much more difficult to change behaviors in older generations, which is why it’s so important to reach kids at a young age. Hemry is the environmental health and safety solutions regional support manager for Wilbur-Ellis, an agricultural product distribution company.

Stefanie Bruce's children are learning about hearing protection through the University of Michigan's Hearing Heroes program for farm and rural youth

Stefanie Bruce

Stefanie Bruce of Deford, Mich., attended the Safety Day with her children. They’re exposed to augers, trucks and loud industrial fans among other things, and she’s worried about their hearing.

“Once (the hearing) is gone you cannot get it back,” said Bruce, whose husband’s grandfather has farm-related hearing loss. “I want them to wear ear protection even when we aren’t here to tell them anymore.”

Since participating in McCullagh’s Hear on the Farm study, Breuninger has purchased hearing protectors for his employees so they don’t end up with hearing loss also. He also wears his own, and he stresses the importance of hearing protection to his children.

Para agora, programs like McCullagh’s are the best interventions available.

“There are few systems in place to help them,” McCullagh said. “The farmers are expected to do that on their own.”

Fonte:, por ANN ARBOR

Sobre Marie

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