Occupational surveillance scheme for audiological physicians (OSSA)

The OSSA reporting scheme collected information on work-related audiological disorders from 1997 to 2006, and consisted of 13 Consultants in Audiological Medicine from across the UK. The reporting physicians included 7 'core' reported who report on a monthly basis, and 6 'sample' physicians who reported for one randomly allocated month each year. OSSA 'core' and 'sample' physicians were very supportive of the scheme and submitted over 2,000 reports of work-related audiological disorders. The results of the 10 years of data collected by this scheme are in the process of being written up for peer review publication.

The most frequently reported disease category within OSSA is sensorineural hearing loss; classed as mild, moderate or severe. Other categories include:

  • Tinnitus (mild or severe)
  • Balance problems
  • Tympanic disorders

Audiological disorders are also reported to OPRA (Occupational Physicians Reporting Activity), with the most frequently reported disorder being noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).

For a full overview of the distribution of diagnoses reported to OSSA and OPRA see latest peer-reviewed publication:

Surveillance for work-related audiological disease in the UK: 1998–2006
A. Money, M. Carder, S. Turner, L. Hussey and R. Agius

According to OSSA reports, the industries most frequently associated with sensorineural hearing loss include a variety of manufacturing industries, the construction trade and public administration & defence of which 88.9% relate to the armed forces.