Preventing hearing loss through early identification by an audiogram or hearing test is a must to meet legislative requirements, but it also helps to identify individuals with hearing limitations, which can lead to serious incidents.
Employers are required to provide hearing testing for workers in a noisy environment (over 85db) and who frequently need to wear hearing protection.
How often should my workers be tested?
Baseline Assessment – This is the first assessment conducted within 3 months of a new employee commencing work. All subsequent monitoring assessments will be compared against it to monitor whether or not an employee’s hearing level is decreasing or being maintained, so that any hearing loss can be detected early. To allow a true baseline result this assessment is conducted after the employee has been in relative quiet for 16 hours prior to the assessment.
Monitoring Assessment – Monitoring assessments are conducted at least every 2 years. Monitoring audiograms are generally conducted onsite at the workplace, close to, or at the end of the workers shift. The monitoring audiogram is then compared to the initial baseline audiometric testing to determine whether there has been a threshold shift (which may be either temporary or permanent). These temporary reductions in hearing are a clear indicator that continued exposure to the same noise levels are likely to result in a permanent hearing loss.
Audiometry can be conducted in conjunction with a pre-employment medical assessment or as a standalone assessment. Hunter Valley WorkSAFE can come to your workplace, eliminating travel time for your workers and reducing disruption to production.
Contact Hunter Valley WorkSAFE today to discuss your workplace health surveillance program!