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Audiology and Speech Research > Volume 13(4); 2017 > Article
Audiology and Speech Research 2017;13(4): 265-271.
Published online: October 31, 2017.
doi: http://doi.org/10.21848/asr.2017.13.4.265
소음성 난청의 업무상 질병 인정기준 고찰
서울특별시 서울의료원 직업환경의학과
A Review of Occupational Disease Certification Criteria for Noise-Induced Hearing Impairment
KyooSang Kim
Occupational Environmental Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  KyooSang Kim ,Tel: +82-2-2276-7755, Fax: +82-2-2276-7438, Email: kyoosang@daum.net
Received: May 8, 2017; Revised: May 31, 2017   Accepted: June 2, 2017.  Published online: October 31, 2017.
Noise-induced hearing impairment is bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that typically occurs with high degrees of hearing impairment in the high-frequency range of 3-6 kHz. Certification of noise-induced hearing impairment as an occupational disease is legislated according to the following criteria: 1) three years of exposure to noise at a level of 85 dB (A); 2) sensorineural hearing loss with no air-bone hearing gap; and 3) hearing loss that is not age-related. In particular, although the direct impact of noise is recognized, it is difficult to distinguish the effects of noise-induced hearing impairment from those of presbycusis. Therefore, recognition of noise-induced hearing impairment and its relevance as an occupational disease may be overlooked. Furthermore, if someone is moved to a noise-free work area [below 85 dB (A)], application for workers’ injury compensation would be disapproved after 3 years because of the expiration of the validity period. However, based on a recent Supreme Court precedent, expiration of the validity period for the right to claim benefits was recently changed to the date of confirmed diagnosis of hearing impairment. This study examines the occupational disease certification criteria for noise-induced hearing impairment and the judgment of occupational diseases. Specifically, we discuss and make suggestions regarding noise exposure standards and assessment methods, used as legal evidence in this area. We also discuss assessments of hearing loss type in order to evaluate the status of noise-induced hearing loss as an occupational disease, and the various issues resulting from occupational hazard claims.
Key Words: Noise, Noise-induced hearing impairment, Noise exposure standards, Noise exposure assessment, Age-related hearing loss.
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