Eliminated Scheduling Challenges, Improved the Employee Experience, and Reduced Program Costs
Faircast, an Iowa-based casting company, has earned a reputation across the midwest for their high-quality products and commitment to employees’ health, well-being, and safety. In looking for new and innovative ways to conduct OSHA-mandated annual hearing tests, Faircast’s health and safety team learned of SHOEBOX Audiometry. They immediately saw its potential to revolutionize how their annual workplace hearing screening tests were conducted. SHOEBOX’s ‘out-of-the-booth’ testing platform would enable them to bring their program in-house, while still meeting OSHA regulations. They also saw an opportunity to reduce program costs while minimizing the disruption to business operations that is so often caused when mobile clinics come onsite for annual testing days.
Before bringing their hearing testing program in-house, Faircast had been outsourcing their testing to a mobile audiometric service provider. Trying to schedule hearing tests for all of their employees over the course of a two-day window was a logistical nightmare, and often forced production to slow to a standstill. Entire departments would be shut down to accommodate the service provider’s visits, leaving frustrated staff to wait in lines outside the mobile testing trucks until it was their turn to be tested. The service provider needed to be booked months in advance of their visits, and the inevitable rescheduling of tests — due to missed appointments or truck delays — was costing the company thousands of dollars every year. Faircast knew there had to be a better way.
SHOEBOX was an immediate fit for Faircast’s testing requirements. SHOEBOX’s mobile audiometer was simple enough to use that multiple people within the organization could assist in test administration. This lets them spread the workload more evenly, so no one member of the team felt overburdened with additional tasks. Because the audiometer could be set up to test in any quiet area of their facility, the team could schedule testing in a location that was convenient for their employees. And because they no longer had to test in a sound booth, the experience was a more enjoyable one for the employees.
One of the most significant changes associated with switching to an in-house program was moving away from a “once per year” testing model, towards one where employees test on a rolling schedule. Employees at Faircast today are scheduled for their annual tests individually, and once they complete their tests, they return to their work stations and send the next person in line for theirs. Production is no longer impeded by annual hearing testing, and ensuring that all employees are tested annually (and on time) is effortless.
Another significant improvement that Faircast made to their hearing testing program by switching to SHOEBOX was scheduling baseline tests for all new hires as part of the employer’s onboarding process. This wasn’t possible when Faircast outsourced their testing, as new hires could only have their baseline test completed at the next scheduled service provider visit. This could easily be six or more months from their date of hire. Being able to test a new employee at their time of hire not only increased their program efficiency, but it also ensured that Faircast was meeting regulatory requirements for new-hire testing.
Not only did SHOEBOX make it easier to schedule their annual hearing tests, it also proved to be much more cost-effective. The price of bringing the service provider onsite for two full days each year — the minimum time required to test all employees — far exceeded the annual subscription costs of the SHOEBOX system, and that’s only factoring in hard-costs. When Faircast factored in the time savings, and what they were saving by eliminating the need to schedule retests off-site for those who missed their appointments, the reduction in costs were even more dramatic than anticipated.
By switching to an in-house program using SHOEBOX, the Faircast team has eliminated their scheduling challenges, improved the testing experience for their employees, and reduced their overall program costs. The only question they have now is, “Why aren’t more employers making the shift to SHOEBOX?”
Contact us to learn how you too can bring your occupational hearing conservation program in house.