A study just published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine yields up some surprising results: workers exposed to noise over long periods of time have a decreased risk of injuries. 

In an effort to assess the effect of chronic noise exposure on serious workplace injury and to determine how the timing of exposure influenced risk, researchers examined nearly four decades’ worth of data on 26,000 British Columbia workers. 

They found that cumulative noise exposure was associated with a decreased risk for injuries, with the risk generally decreasing as cumulative noise levels increasing. Subchronic noise exposure, in contrast, was associated with an increased risk for injury. 

The study’s authors concluded that workers who were exposed to noise for long periods of time might develop effective methods of communicating the risk and preventing injuries in noisy environments. 

The study http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2011/07/01/oem.2010.058107.abstract?papetocstudy was conducted by Rakel N Kling, Paul A Demers, Hasanat Alamgir and Hugh W Davies.