Occupational Health  Centers
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Occupational Audiometry 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. It is not a diagnostic technique.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 provide a comprehensive framework for the control of Noise at Work. The regulations place a general duty on employers to reduce the risk of hearing damage to the lowest level reasonably practicable and contain other requirements which have to be implemented when certain noise levels are reached.
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
    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.

After completing a general Audiometry questionnaire and having the ear canal examined, the Audiometry test will be carried out using an audiometer. Results will be discussed with the employee and if necessary they will be referred to their GP. A summary report will be sent to the company.
Audiometry can be carried out at Nuffield House in the Audiometric Booth or at the company in a quiet room, only if ambient noise levels are suitable.

FREQUENCY OF TEST (as a guide)

  • Baseline at Pre-employment.
  • Annual tests for first 2 years .
  • There after 3 yearly intervals.
  • More frequent testing may be required if significant changes in hearing levels are detected or exposure conditions change .

Rochdale Occupational Health Service has adopted a set procedure for the reporting of the results of Audiograms to the clients.

  1. Acceptable Hearing Ability
    Hearing within normal limits.
  2. Mild Hearing Impairment
    Hearing loss is slightly more than would be expected for an employee’s age.
    There is no need for referral at this stage. The employee will be warned of this hearing loss and ways of how to minimise or prevent further damage or loss will be discussed.
  3. Poor Hearing/Referral
    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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