Audiometry (hearing test) is a screening technique used to detect early damage to hearing resulting from exposure to noise. Identifying any damage allows for follow-up remedial action in the workplace and if necessary a medical referral
The new Noise at Work Regulations (2005) came into force on 6 April 2006 and replaced the previous regulations that had been in force since 1989. They place a general duty on employers to reduce the risk of hearing damage to the lowest level possible and also impose other actions which have to be implemented when certain noise levels are reached. If The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, indicates that there is a risk to the health of the employees exposed to noise, then the employer shall ensure that such employees are placed under suitable health surveillance, which includes testing their hearing.
Lower Exposure Action Value - 80dB(A)
Provide information instruction and training for employees
Provision of ear protectors for those who request them
Upper Exposure Action Value - 85dB(A)
Obligation on employer to reduce noise levels below 85dB(A)
Provide ear protectors for all those exposed
Ensure ear protection is worn
Employees have a duty to wear ear protectors
Exposure Limit Value - 87dB(A)
Hearing Protection Zones must be clearly identified
Access is to be restricted
A detailed questionnaire and ear canal examination is completed in the first instance then the test is carried out using a fully automated portable system with sound excluding headphones that can be used in a quiet room. This allows us to perform audiometry screening to current HSE standard guidelines on your site and at your convenience without the requirement of a bulky booth or costly mobile unit. All employees' results are explained and discussed with the individual and if necessary they will be referred to their GP. A report will be sent to the company.
A test should be carried out as part of the Pre-employment assessment and then annually for the first two years. Thereafter three yearly intervals are recommended but more frequent testing may be required if any significant change in hearing levels are detected or the conditions of exposure change.
Acceptable Hearing Ability - Hearing within normal limits.
Mild Hearing Impairment - Hearing loss is slightly more than would be expected for an employee's age. There is no requirement for a referral at this stage but the employee will be warned of this hearing loss and ways of minimising/preventing further damage or loss will be discussed.
Poor Hearing - This indicates the presence of a significant hearing loss, a major difference in hearing between one ear and the other or a rapid hearing loss since last test. This may be as a consequence of noise exposure or of a disease process in the ears. The employee is formally informed and advised to consult with their G.P.
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Workwell provides services across a broad range of Occupational Health needs for both industrial and commercial businesses, helping to ensure your workforce is healthy, productive and that sickness absence is managed effectively and minimised.