Requirement to Test
Audiometric testing or, as it is more often called, Hearing testing is often a requirement triggered when employees are in certain occupations or mandatory when exposed to noise levels of 85dB(A) or above on a daily basis. A noise survey would indicate a testing need and if you are unsure request an Occupational Health assessment from ABC to assist you with what may be required.Ideally you would start the testing before people are exposed to noise such as new starters or those changing jobs, to provide a baseline result. Testing can also be introduced at any time for employees already exposed to noise.
Testing is usually repeated annually for the first two years of employment and then at three yearly intervals (although this may need to be more frequent if any problem with hearing is detected or where the risk of hearing damage is high).
It is also recommended to test on termination of employment as this completes your data records for the time the employee has been apart of your organisation and enables you to confirm any changes that may or may not have taken place whilst in your employment.
This test comprises of a comprehensive questionnaire to provide a background of the individual’s general health and identify any potential risk of Hearing Damage, as well as ensuring they are ok to undertake the physical test. An Otoscope examination max be conducted to exclude any problems from inflammation, wax etc. The test itself is non-invasive and requires the person to simply listen to a series of sounds through a set of noise cancelling headphones.
Provided the questionnaire is completed prior to testing, then the physical test process takes approx. 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
The Audiometric testing is compliant with the statutory Health Surveillance requirements required under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations and is mandatory for all UK employees exposed to levels of 85dB(A) or above on a daily basis.
As part of the test process the Health Practitioner will gather personal medical information which is kept confidential. All such records will be kept off site with the OH provider or if a suitably locked filing system is provided on site to which only the OH Provider has sole access then this enables us to keep records with the employer. An Employee may consent to records being viewed or kept by the employer or being disclosed to a third party.
A summary of the employee’s results along with the required fit to work sign off where applicable, will be made available along with details of any further referrals advised and any information to enable the management of any health or safety related matters or details of any further action the employer needs to take.