Does occupational noise matter amongst manufacturing (small and medium enterprises) workers? Empirical evidence from Magaba, Mbare, Zimbabwe
Maziriri, Eugine T.
Letshaba, Ralebitso K.
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Background: The significance of how occupational noise can influence attitudes towards occupational noise exposure, susceptibility to hearing loss and job performance has generally been neglected in the past studies. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of occupational noise on attitudes towards occupational noise exposure, susceptibility to hearing loss and job performance of manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) workers in Zimbabwe. Method: A survey was conducted involving 250 respondents, including manufacturing SME workers, and the hypotheses were analysed by applying structural equation modelling. Results: Occupational noise had a positive and significant effect on attitudes towards occupational noise exposure and perceived susceptibility to hearing loss amongst manufacturing SME workers. In addition, attitudes towards exposure to occupational noise and the perceived susceptibility of hearing loss have had a positive and significant impact on manufacturing SME workers’ job performance. Conclusion: The novelty of the research is its analysis of occupational noise as an indicator of attitudes towards occupational noise exposure and susceptibility to hearing loss as well as job performance. This study provides practitioners with beneficial implications. Collective knowledge on occupational noise could help manufacturing SME managers in recognising the perceptions of employees on occupational noise and how it ultimately affects job performance. Moreover, this study is intended to add new knowledge to the current body of African occupational noise literature – a context that has not received much research attention in developing countries.