Noise induced hearing loss is now the most common occupational disease in North America, affecting both the employee and employer. Here, we take a look at the 3 most misunderstood concerns about using a mobile hearing testing service.
Misconception: The test must take place in a 100% soundproof environment:
Audiometric booths (or attenuation booths), which are used in all clinical applications and most mobile unit applications, are simply designed to reduce the background noise to a level that no longer affects the test result. There are standard criteria for allowable background noise levels, and a properly designed mobile unit will meet these standards. Furthermore, It is standard practice for the person conducting the test to triple-check the results at each test tone before determining the patient’s true hearing level.
Misconception: You must avoid any noise exposure prior to your test:
It is hazardous
noise that must be avoided, so wearing appropriate hearing protection is the equivalent of no noise exposure. Second, avoiding noise is essential for your baseline test, but not necessarily so for subsequent tests. In fact, it may be of more value to test a worker in the middle or even at the end of a shift. Here’s why: A person working in a high-noise environment prior the test will be (or should be) wearing hearing protection, so their test results shouldn’t indicate any noise-induced shifts, no matter what time the test was done. However, if this person is not wearing hearing protection (or not wearing it properly) and is tested at the end of a shift, the results are likely to indicate a temporary shift. This is the most important information of all. It’s exactly what you need to know. In fact, it’s the primary reason for a hearing conservation program.
- You get a better understanding of the true level of hearing protection compliance in the workplace. You can’t simply assume that everyone’s wearing hearing protection and wearing it properly. You need a metric.
- These temporary shifts will become permanent if allowed to continue. Since the hearing test will spot a shift before the worker begins to notice it, follow up remedial action can be taken at the earliest possible stage…before significant damage occurs and before it becomes compensable.
- The results can be used as a training tool to help the worker see the risks of noise exposure and understand the benefits of hearing protection.
If hearing tests were only conducted after temporary shifts have receded, we may not know about the shifts until it started to become a permanent shift.
Misconception: The tests need to be conducted by a hearing specialist or audiologist:
Most companies believe it’s neither efficient nor necessary to spend the time and money on a professional/clinical service when most people don’t need it. What’s needed is a quick way to screen for those with a condition that actually should be flagged for professional follow-up. This is where the mobile hearing testing services come in. Most services are capable of doing multiple-simultaneous tests and can screen the entire workforce in a fraction of the time it would take for a professional or nurse to do them one at a time. As an added bonus, many of these services also provide very comprehensive demographic and statistical reports. Proactive implementation of a comprehensive hearing conservation program can reduce and even eliminate occupational hearing loss. Save your organization and employees the time, costs and damages associated with hearing loss and book a mobile hearing test today. For more information, please contact us