Audiometry

NOISE AT WORK

Hearing damage caused by exposure to noise at work is permanent and incurable.  Hearing loss can be gradual due to prolonged exposure to noise or hearing damage can be caused immediately by sudden, extremely loud noises.  Exposure to noise can also cause tinnitus – noise in the ear such as ringing or buzzing.  This may occur in combination with hearing loss.

These conditions are entirely preventable if employers take action to reduce exposure to noise and provide personal hearing protection and health surveillance to employees; if manufacturers design tools and machinery to operate more quietly and employees make use of the personal hearing protection or other control measures supplied.  (Controlling Noise at work.  The control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005)

AUDIOMETRY (Hearing test) is an assessment of hearing ability used to detect signs of hearing loss as a potential result of noise exposure at work.

EMPLOYERS’ RESPONSIBILITY

The Control Of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 along with The  Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l21.htm) require all employers, by law, to assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risk or exposure to excessive noise at work.

The need for health surveillance is determined by employers through risk assessment.

Employers need to provide health surveillance for:

  • All workers exposed above the upper exposure action value of 85dB (A)
  • Susceptible individuals if requested exposed between 80-85dB (A)
  • Occasional exposure above 85dB (A)
  • Workers who may be particularly sensitive to noise e.g. existing hearing loss, medical history or family history of early deafness

Workfit can provide a complete audiometry service including reporting and follow-up. We have a controlled environment audiometry booth at our Bury St Edmunds clinic or can carry out screening on your site.  This will allow you to:-

  • comply with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005)
  • fulfil your hearing protection/noise reduction programme
  • detect any early noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) amongst your employees
  • educate your employees about the importance of hearing preservation
  • reduce the risk of civil claims for noise induced hearing loss

For more information about occupational hearing tests or any other occupational health service for your business call us on 01284 330212 or email ohadminbury@workfit-uk.com