Occupational Hearing Health
Thought Leader Forum

The shift to boothless testing

Select a Thought Leader to see what they have to say!

David Choate

Safety Coordinator, NHK International

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    The boothless hearing allows us to have more control over our Hearing Conservation Program. While we still have to utilize a clinic setting for certain individuals meeting testing criteria it relieves us of having to set up appointments with the clinic. It also reduces the cost to us. Instead of having to pay clinic prices for 450+ employees we only now pay for the occasional required testing. Also, it is easier for our third shift employees as they can be tested on sight and then leave to go home versus leaving here and then sitting at the clinic for several hours or even worse having to get up in the afternoon to make an afternoon appointment.

    We control when the testing is allowing us to work with our third shift employees in a more favorable time frame. As for the mobile clinic visits, we end up paying for time slots and employees miss them or are sick, vacation, etc. So we end up having to pay for them twice as we end up sending them to the clinic for their testing. With boothless testing no matter what the issue is we can perform the testing on the employee. Also with this style of visit, it only happens once a year. If new equipment or processes are introduced we may have issues that we do not find out about until the following year. This may be too late at that point. Several times the mobile clinics’ hours of operations were not exactly at the opportune times to have them. They seem to set the times they want without checking to see what times would work best. Also, the clinic is outside and inside the noise level can still be fairly loud leading to repeated testing and costs at the walk-in clinic.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    The testing is also much safer at this time. No matter how much you clean there may be areas that are missed inside of a booth. With the boothless the headsets and pad are cleaned off and there is no doubt that they have been cleaned. Also in a booth, the appointments are sometimes close together so the booth does not have time to be cleaned properly. This is not an issue with the booth less. Again it is an open room and the headset and pad are cleaned quickly and efficiently.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    Always concerns about the calibration of the headsets. We do send them back on a yearly basis for recalibrated systems but there is always that worry. 

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    It has been very easy for us to set up and run this program and our Hearing Conservation Program averages 99.8% total coverage. There are a few employees who before we can test move on but other than them we are able to complete for all practical purposes 100% coverage. It also allows us to reschedule any missed tests due to problems so that we catch all of our employees. We run the program by birthday month. The month of your birthday is the month you receive your hearing test. It works as employees know they are to be tested and normally very quick to alert us of any schedule issues so that we can reschedule them. It is much easier to perform the tests. There is no downtime as we send groups out to be tested. Employees like it so it is a win-win scenario for us.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

    The only time that we stopped testing during the Covid-19 issue was during the time that we had a mandatory shutdown. The employees still in the building were tested but the majority had received a temporary layoff. This went from April till mid-May when we started bringing employees back. In June we commenced full-time hearing testing again so while we did have a partial slow down and employees who missed their yearly testing we have been able to catch them back up again. This was due to the ease of use of boothless hearing testing as clinics were still closed and mobile units were also not working. As of this time we are back on track again where we should be thanks to the booth less hearing testing. Without it, we would be struggling to try and catch up. All we had to do to continue the testing was adapt the process to include CD guidelines which were very easy. It does take a bit longer due to these new processes but when I say longer it’s not hours but merely minutes.

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

    Thank you for the opportunity to inform you of success with the booth less hearing program. It has helped us overcome many issues this year and has also allowed us to reduce costs in our hearing program. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can do to assist.

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Garth Pinnock

AO Supervisor MSP, United Airlines

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    The advantage that the iPad hearing test offers is immediate control of the agent’s time away from the operation which is minimal. If an employee is assigned to be tested at the clinic you will lose that employee for hours as opposed to having them tested for 15 minutes on the iPad and then return to the operation without having to replace them by spending money to pay overtime for another employee to cover their shift.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    ​I would say it is safer than in a sound booth

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    Nothing that we could think of that concerns us about the product.

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    Using the SHOEBOX product increases our hearing test program compliance because it’s conveniently done in our office. The agents are more inclined to participate knowing that a result is readily available and easy to comprehend. Some fear going to the clinic to be sitting there for hours after work or during work for a test when they can take the test and have a result in 15 minutes or less.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

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Kayla Carter

Safety Coordinator, Permian Basin Materials

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    For us here at PB Materials we have appreciated the convenience of boothless hearing tests. We do not have to carry around extra equipment or take the time from our busy workdays to stop and set it up. It saves us time and energy in the long run. I truly believe that this has made our Hearing Conservation Program more convenient for our employees and those of us here at PB and boosts productivity.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    We have not used the sound booth for our hearing tests that I am aware of. So we cannot give a fair comparison of why it would be safer.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    The only concern that we have come across is that sometimes the surrounding area is not quiet enough for the testing to resume. In this case, we just move rooms or ask those around to lower their voices

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    Using the bootless hearing testing has made it so much easier to administer hearing tests. I just take my iPad and headphones to a site and get set up and ready to go within minutes. It’s so small and compact that I can take it virtually anywhere. The tablet also stores all the information we need so that we can efficiently keep records of hearing tests done.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

    I believe that our employees and managers prefer our boothless testing over testing at a clinic. Having a team on standby for hearing tests saves the company time and money. The employee can easily schedule a hearing test and I can drive to the site and make it comfortable for them. There is no missing work or driving to a specialist involved. All of our employees get to interact with someone that they know. Someone who can explain to them their results without being intimidated. We love our in-house hearing tests for this reason.

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Erin Bahde

Safety Representative, Onsite Innovations

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    For us, it provides more flexibility.  We had to do hearing testing on the majority of our employees in a two-and-a-half-to-three-day window, and pulling four people off the production floor every 20 minutes is extremely challenging on our ops team.  Now we spread out our hearing testing over ten months of the year.  We like to be done with initial testing by the middle/end of October in order to allow for sufficient time for any needed follow-ups before the holidays.  Our employees also like this better because most felt that the van was distracting with having three other people in there at the same time.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    I do feel like this is a safer method, and our employees feel that way as well.  Again, they aren’t in a small space with three other people to complete the testing.  I make sure that I clean the headphones, iPad, and desk between each person, and I do this in front of the employee, which helps make them feel safer as well.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    At my site, it’s been great, and we haven’t had any concerns.  However, I helped another location out and they had some challenges with finding a quiet enough location, so I could see that as a challenge for some facilities.

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    I had some challenges, in the beginning, mainly figuring out the best way to bring everything in house and stay in compliance.  But after the first few months, it became very easy. 

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

    We were using SHOEBOX prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, but we did opt to halt hearing testing for approximately three months (April-June) when it first started in the US.  After that time frame and with guidance regarding how to ensure we are conducting our hearing testing in a safe manner we felt comfortable with bringing hearing testing back and we have been able to get back into full compliance before the end of the year.  We would not have brought a van service in for hearing testing post-COVID if we had still been using that process.

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

Lori Sakurai

Safety Assurance Specialist, Major Cargo Airline

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    The advantage of boothless hearing testing is the flexibility to perform testing at any job site provided the noise level is quiet.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    Having a booth sometimes makes the person claustrophobic and their heart races and skews the test responses.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    No adverse concerns for boothless testing other than visual distractions

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    No booth has saved me time and money for shipping a portable booth to my various places of business.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

    COVID did not halt testing because of boothless testing and we can maintain wearing a mask and social distancing while testing.

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

    My employees love not having to sit in an enclosed booth, and with COVID that eliminates sanitizing the booth after each use. The employee sees me wiping down the headset and all I do is have them face away from me and initiate the testing.

     

Teresa Gifford

ESH/Site Nurse, Bayer U.S

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    The biggest advantage for me was the freedom to schedule appointments when it works best for myself and the employees.  It saves the employees from having to be away from the job for an extended period of time and having to drive to the clinic for the testing and also being able to test anywhere that meets the sound requirements.  I have employees that work in different geological areas. During the spring, summer, and fall some are out in the corn and bean fields so I was able to set up at local hotel conference rooms and get my testing completed without having each employee drive three hours down to my office.  The SHOEBOX also keeps the employee involved in the test so they don’t sit in a booth and fall asleep which I have seen many times in all my years as an Occupational Medical Nurse.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    With COVID this year it was so easy to just wipe down the equipment and the desk and I was all ready for the next test, plus testing was done in a large office and not the small booth.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    No, I have had excellent results.

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    It was easy.  Every once in a while I would have to try two to three different areas to pass the sound test but that was not a big deal.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

    Yes because the entire third floor of offices at one of our plants was shut down due to people working from home.  I was able to grab my equipment and go there to finish my testing.  One small bag to grab is so easy!!

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

    Almost all of the employees that I tested really like the SHOEBOX.  Most of them felt it was easier to hear the tones compared to a booth where they complain about hearing their heartbeat and breathing and then they couldn’t hear the tones.  It seemed that a couple of the older employees had trouble with figuring out the sliding of the ball to the correct box but eventually caught on.

    I LOVE IT!!  So simple to transport around and set up.

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Mike Storie

Sr Manager Environmental Health and Safety, Major Food Processing Company

  • 1) In your opinion, what advantage(s) does boothless hearing testing offer over clinic / mobile clinic visits?

    Scheduling! Scheduling is the number one reason we chose to go with a boothless system. Our previous provider needed to schedule months in advance. When production changed, they were unable to change schedules. Going with a boothless system that we can administer ourselves fixed the problem. We can now react to schedule changes if needed. The second advantage here is social distancing. Now with COVID around keeping proper social distance between employees is key to controlling the spread. In the past, we had four people in a booth testing at one time. Going with the boothless system now allows us to maintain social distancing at all times.

  • 2) If not mentioned in your response to question 1, do you consider boothless testing safer than testing in a sound booth?

    The boothless testing option is safer for sure. Keeping socially distant at all times and not having four people in a booth testing is safer for sure.

  • 3) Is there anything about boothless hearing testing that concerns you?

    Sometimes in louder plant-like environments, it could be hard to find a quiet enough location to perform the test. However it is not impossible and with the ability to do the testing without having to schedule it months in advance, it’s easier to move testing to quieter times.

  • 4) How easy or difficult has it been for you to achieve program compliance using a boothless hearing testing method?

    Very easy. It allowed us to do it at our own pace, keeping up with our other tasks at the same time. But still allowed for the testing to get done quicker, and on our timeline.

  • 5) If you halted your hearing testing program during COVID-19 shut downs, did boothless hearing testing help you get back up and running?

    We did halt our hearing testing program in 2020 due to COVID and that is what really pushed us to shift to the boothless option. Our old provider had four of our employees getting into the booth at the same time. There was no way to do that in 2020 with COVID and maintaining social distancing at the same time. That was why we decided to pull the trigger and go with the boothless option. At this time we have no plans to look back. Boothless is the way to go.

  • 6) What are your thoughts on the employee experience of boothless testing as compared to testing in a clinic/mobile clinic?

    Overall the reception from our employees was great. It gives them something to do, dragging the icons, versus just sitting there hitting a button or just listening to a tone and raising their hand. So employees didn’t like getting into the confined booth as well and going boothless fixed that problem.