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.
A shift is happening in Occupational Hearing Conservation. Many of you have embraced this change since the beginning. You can attest to how tablet audiometry – and SHOEBOX specifically – is helping you be more flexible while saving you time and money on your program and on the services that you provide your clients.
Hearing conservation is big business. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise levels on the job annually, making noise-induced hearing loss one of the most common work-related injuries. Protecting workers’ existing hearing and training them to take personal responsibility for their hearing health is an important part of hearing conservation but testing hearing at required intervals and monitoring for changes in hearing levels is equally important.