What is audio surveillance?
Audio surveillance for hearing damage usually means:
- Regular hearing checks in controlled working conditions.
- Informing employees about the results of their hearing checks and what needs to be put in place for the future.
- Keeping health records safe and up to date.
- Making sure all employees are examined by a specialist where hearing damage is identified.
You should really start the audio surveillance before people are exposed to noise (ie for new starters or those changing jobs roles). This will give a baseline on how advanced your employees hearing is. This can also be introduced at any time for employees already exposed to noise. This would be followed by a regular series of checks, usually annually for the first two years of employment and then at three-yearly intervals (although this may need to be more frequent if any problem with hearing is detected or where the risk of hearing damage is high).
?You as an employer, have the responsibility for making sure the health surveillance is carried out properly.
Our audio assessments are carried out by fully trained occupational health professionals
Providing health surveillance
As an employer you MUST provide hearing checks for all your employees who are likely to be regularly exposed high levels of noise exposure, or are at risk for any reason, eg they already suffer from hearing loss or are particularly sensitive to health damage.
The purpose of a hearing surveillance is to:
- Warn you when employees might be suffering from early signs of hearing damage.
- Give you an opportunity to do something to prevent the damage getting worse, eg: health & safety equipment.
- Check that all control measures are working- It is important that your employees understand that the aim of the audio surveillance is to protect their hearing.
As an employer, by law, you must identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to noise so that you can protect the hearing of your employees!
Where the risks are low, the actions you take may be simple and inexpensive, but where the risks are high, you should manage them promptly and professionally.
Where required, you need to make sure that:
- Full hearing protection is provided and used throughout the workplace.
- Any other controls are properly used and plans are put into place.
- You as an employer provide regular information, training and health surveillance.
Review if anything changes that may affect the noise exposures where you work.
What do I have to do with the results of hearing surveillance?
When you have the results...use them!
These results are to make sure your employees hearing is being protected.
We advise you to:
- Keep records of the hearing surveillance and fitness-for-work advice provided for each employee. If asked by a health and safety inspector you will able to provide all this information- This is part of their checks that you are complying with the Regulations!
- Make employees records available to them.
- Act upon any recommendations made by the occupational health service, putting health and safety in place.
- Use the results to review and, if necessary, revise your risk assessment and your plans to control risks.
Analyzing the results of your health surveillance for groups of workers can give you an insight into how well your program to control noise risks is working. Use the results to target your noise reduction, education and compliance practices more accurately.
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