Food is something that we can sometimes take for granted in today’s hectic and modern world. Millions of food production workers around the globe work tirelessly to ensure the food you and your family consume finds a home on your kitchen table.
Millions of workers are exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise on a daily basis and, when uncontrolled, this noise can cause life-altering hearing damage. The same can be said about the chemical agents found in many workplaces. Significant research has been devoted to understanding the negative impact that ototoxic chemicals (known as ototoxicants) can have on one’s hearing and balance. As with unsafe noise levels, a well-designed hearing conservation program will protect workers against hearing health issues resulting from exposure to ototoxicants.
Workplace hearing conservation programs are intended to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Providing hearing protection and educating employees on hearing conservation best practices are necessary safeguards. But employers must also monitor noise levels, provide annual hearing tests, and report any shifts in hearing levels over time.
Occupational hearing testing practices are in desperate need of innovation and modernization. Audiometers designed in the 1980s, printed records, old trucks with uncomfortable sound booths in back – these are all relics of the past and need to move aside for modern approaches that will bring improved efficiency, cost reduction, and better experiences for employees. In this article, we will describe the attributes of a modern hearing testing program and paint a vision for the future.
If you work in a noisy environment, your employer has an obligation to work with you to preserve your sense of hearing. One of the most important components of your employer’s responsibility is to provide a regular, no-cost hearing test to establish a baseline and monitor for any hearing changes throughout your career. Even though you can’t “study” for a hearing test to get the best results, there are some things you can do to prepare and ensure an accurate test.