Whilst achieving regulatory compliance across all applicable areas is a goal all businesses should be working towards, it can be a challenge simply keeping up with what compliance regulations apply to a particular organisation. For example, many businesses may be unclear if the noise levels across their worksites is exceeding compliant levels, or at risk of exceeding it. An effective approach for these organisations to adopt is to look at whether any of their staff are required to wear hearing protective devices as part of their duties. If so, then it is apparent that some of their staff will be exposed to loud noises throughout their workday, and it becomes an issue of whether such noises are exceeding compliant levels. However, by having staff undergo onsite audiometric testing, organisations will be in the best position to protect the hearing of their staff and promote a safe working environment.
How Audiometric Testing Benefits Businesses
Audiometric testing is a method of charting hearing loss in people over time. Conducted in person, it is a simple, straight-forward process where the person being tested puts on a pair of headphones through which a series of tones, of varying pitches and decibels, are played. The person must then state when they hear a tone. This allows the testers to develop a profile of the level of noise-induced hearing loss an individual has.
Through this process, businesses not only work at keeping their staff safe by developing effective, compliant noise control procedures across their operations, they are also able to ascertain the suitability of staff for particular roles, develop record keeping processes for measuring hearing loss, and work at developing an overall safer work environment.
By having staff undergo audiometric screening, companies will be able to achieve several goals, including:
- Early detection of potential hearing loss. This process is conducted by trained audiometrists, who can identify the warning signs of potential noise-induced hearing loss. They can then advise the business on what steps it should be taking to rectify the situation, ensuring the mitigation of noise risks.
- Identifying the effectiveness of a business’ noise control processes. If the screening detects no noise-induced hearing loss, or risk factors that could lead to it, in staff who work in noisy environments, then it can be ascertained that the business’ noise control processes are effective.
- Showing staff that they care about their safety. Staff that must wear a hearing protective device as part of their duties are required to undergo an audiometric screening within three months of commencing their role. This not only allows businesses to develop a ‘base line’ reading of their hearing levels, which can be tracked across time to determine whether any hearing loss has occurred after commencing their role, it also works at showing staff that their employer takes work safety seriously.
When it comes to developing an effective audiometric testing program for staff, there are several key factors that businesses must address. Firstly, it must ascertain which of its staff require testing, by either identifying which staff must wear hearing protective devices, or by conducting an onsite noise assessment to gauge whether their noise levels are compliant.
Then it must arrange for qualified audiometrists to visit their worksite to conduct tests on staff, and arrange a routine retesting schedule to ensure changes to hearing levels are tracked across time, and that everything is operating in a safe, compliant manner.
The benefits of routine staff audiometric testing are numerous. Not only does it help in the development of a safer, compliant workplace, it proves a commitment to staff wellbeing, allowing business’ to take straight-forward action at developing a noise-compliant work environment.
Contact us for more information
If, after reading this, you would like to take the first steps towards staff and workplace safety, then please contact Anitech’s specialist consultants today on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1300 802 163. All you need to do is give them a rundown of your work environment, and the noise exposure risks that staff may encounter, and they will be able to arrange for our audiometric specialists to visit your worksite. That doesn’t sound too testing, does it?
Please click here to read more about the benefits onsite audiometric testing brings to businesses.