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Audiometry

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Audiometry

Why do I need an Audiometry Test?

“Exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the commonest health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up gradually over time.
Throughout all industry, industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease claims.”
Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/food/noise.htm

What happens in an Audiometry Test?

Healthscreen UK Ltd can provide Audiometry test either in our Hinckley clinic or we are able to travel onto your company site around the UK.

  • The audiometry test consists of completing a questionnaire, the questionnaire will ask you questions such as “Do you wear hearing protection at work?” Once the questionnaire is fully completed it will be looked over by the person who is completing the medical.
  • The audiometry test consists of wearing earphones which produce certain sounds. If you hear the sound you click a button which will tell the person who is completing the medical what you can and can’t hear.
  • This test takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  • After the medical the results get sent back into our Hinckley clinic, the audio results will be checked over by our in-house nurse. Once this is checked either you or your employer will receive a report explaining your audio category.

Regulation 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999 (MHSW Regs).

Audiometry is a technique used to detect early damage to hearing, from exposure to noise. Identifying any damage allows appropriate action to be taken, as well as a referral of the individual. Audio Surveillance may also find changes in hearing due to other causes outside of work.
At the beginning of the assessment, it is important to obtain the individual’s medical history and other exposures to noise. During follow up examinations, questions should be asked about:

  • The use of hearing protection
  • Any changes in working patterns and noise exposure
  • Any complaints relating to the ears or hearing.

What happens after an Audiometry Test?

After performing the hearing test, any issues arising with an employee are brought to the attention of the company management and a referral service is offered.
A hearing assessment is performed to set a baseline for hearing, this is normally done the first year. Then a comparative test should be undertaken 12 months later. If these tests don’t flag any problems, your schedule of testing should then fall back to every two-three years dependent upon your requirements. All new starters should be seen immediately and then fall into the process as above.
Noise-induced hearing loss causes:

  • Tinnitus—a permanent ringing sound in one or more ears
  • An inability to hear clearly due to missing consonants, especially in background noise

Examples of when an Audiometry test was needed

“Dye House”

A dyer who worked in a dyehouse for 15 years had a hearing check and was found to have 50% hearing loss at the age of 37. He now has problems using the phone and needs an amplifier. Traffic is hard to hear unless he is right next to it, so crossing a road becomes stressful. When driving he often stays in 3rd gear too long as he can’t hear the engine revving. Hearing loss could have been prevented with hearing protection.

Orchestra

A trombone player suffered dulling of his hearing after 20 years of playing. These problems may have been avoided if the orchestras he played in had tried different layouts or used risers that allowed him to play over the heads of those in front – rather than use them as human sound absorbers! He could also have tried to get used to wearing flat response earplugs so that he could still hear all frequencies.”
Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/worried.htm#symptoms
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