Hearing Loss Prevention: Improvements to DOD Hearing Conservation Programs Could Lead to Better Outcomes
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Exposure to hazardous noise can have negative implications for both servicemember health and readiness. Moreover, in fiscal year 2009, some of the most common impairments for veterans receiving Veterans Affairs VA disability benefits were hearing related, as annual payments for such conditions exceeded 1.1 billion. To examine Department of Defense DOD efforts to prevent hearing loss, GAO is reporting on 1 how well the DOD and armed services identify and mitigate hazardous noise 2 how well the military evaluates hearing conservation program performance and 3 the status of DODs Hearing Center of Excellence and the extent that DOD and VA are sharing information to inform this and other efforts. GAO reviewed DOD and services policies and guidance, reviewed DOD performance data, interviewed officials and servicemembers, and conducted site visits to nine military bases.
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