IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Effect of Hearing Loss and Wearing Hearing Protectors on the Auditory Perception and Localization of Backup Alarms


Although heavy vehicles are equipped with backup alarms, accidents regularly occur.

Two projects financed by the IRSST (Evaluation of broadband backup alarms and Acoustic performance evaluation of back-up alarms in open work environments to achieve optimal use of such alarms) have proven that tonal alarms are poor at giving workers adequate warning that a heavy vehicle is backing up, especially when it comes to pinpointing the sound source.

The researchers wish to study the effects of hearing loss, combined with the wearing of hearing protectors, on workers’ perception and localization of two kinds of alarms: tonal and broadband.

The results of this research project should make workplaces in which backup alarms are used more aware of the importance of recognizing the impacts of hearing loss, whether or not combined with the wearing of hearing protectors, on workers’ safety, and of using other protective methods, such as changing travel paths.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2018-0028
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2022