Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Steven Mlynarek, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Bernard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rene Salazar, Ph.D.


Personal Noise Exposure, Hearing Loss


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that each year, approximately 30 million people are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. While many are aware of the noise exposure associated with industrial occupations, there has been little research conducted on bartenders who often work in environments that have high levels of noise. The majority of current published research on occupational noise exposure of bartenders has only evaluated noise levels on one night of business. Bartenders often work multiple days per week, which vary in the amount of patrons and entertainment provided, this variation in business leads to variation in the amount of noise to which they are exposed.

The purpose of this research study was to gather occupational noise exposure data for bartenders during a workweek at a Tampa Bay bar establishment that hosts live music on weekends. Personal noise dosimeters were used to collect personal noise exposure data. Area noise level data were collected using a sound level meter. While several bar establishments were approached, one bar establishment part pated as the study site and noise data were collected for seven consecutive days (Thursday-Wednesday). Personal noise exposure data were collected for an entire 8-hour work shift for the Thursday-Sunday portion of the study, and for 6 hours for the Monday-Wednesday portion of the study. Area noise data were collected for the Thursday-Saturday portion of the study.

Results of this study indicate that the highest noise exposure for either bartender occurred on Saturday (Bartender 1: 93.1 dBA; Bartender 2: 83.6 dBA) when a live band was performing in the establishment. Using the OSHA Hearing Conversation and OSHA PEL measurement methods, Bartender 1 was exposed to excessive noise levels (>85 dBA) on four (4) nights of the study, while Bartender 2 had no exposures over 85 dBA. However, using the ACGIH measurement method, Bartender 1 was exposed to excessive noise levels six (6) nights of the study, while Bartender 2 was exposed to excessive noise levels two (2) nights of the study.