Workers who work in a noisy workplace and are required to wear hearing protection are required to have a baseline hearing test before commencing work. They should also have regular audiometric testing (see WHS legislation update) to monitor their hearing and identify any potential noise induced hearing loss. This is an important part of a Hearing Conservation program.
Noise induced hearing loss
There are a few things you really should do prior to your audiometric test appointment. This is to ensure you get an accurate reflection of your ability to hear and importantly identify any hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to loud noise at work. Unfortunately this type of hearing loss is a common workplace injury in Australia – it is known as “noise induced hearing loss (NIHL)”. Whilst noise induced hearing loss can have many ramifications on your lifestyle, it can be prevented.
Regular audiometric testing is one way of ensuring you are protecting one of your most valuable senses – your hearing. It is also important for any organisation to identify any trends of noise induced hearing loss among their workers and take action to reduce the noise hazards. This may include a range of different strategies, including measuring noise levels in the workplace through a noise survey, reviewing the hierarchy of controls to manage existing noise levels, ear plug fit-testing etc.
If you are undertaking audiometric testing as part of a Hearing Conservation program to prevent or manage noise induced hearing loss, then read this blog on making sure you are “at your best” for audiometric testing