Industrial audiometry is a painless and non-invasive procedure for measuring the hearing sensitivity of individuals in your firm. The test is carried out using a single frequency sound at various intensity levels for determining the lowest loudness an individual can hear. The single-frequency tone is called a pure tone and is introduced to the ear canal using an earphone.
Testing is carried out over several frequencies of human hearing range. Sounds introduced through the external ear, travel through the ear’s canal, middle ear, inner ear and into the auditory nerve for processing by the brain. These tests enable identification of potential hearing problems at several levels within an employee’s auditory system.
Why is Industrial Audiometry Testing Critical?
According to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations of 2011, regular audiometric testing is a legal requirement for all employees exposed to noise. Professional health and safety services are critical in conducting these tests 3 months before an employee can commence work and at least every two years after.
Also, testing helps identify some of the causes of hearing loss, including:
- Chronic ear infections
- Injury to the ear
- Exposure to loud noises regularly
- A ruptured eardrum
- Birth defects
- Certain inherited conditions like otosclerosis
How is Audiometry Testing Conducted?
An audiologist – person performing the test – uses an instrument called an audiometer. The device produces pure tone signals that are adjusted in terms of intensity and frequency. An audiometer is available in two modes – manual or automatic. The audiologist’s role is to adjust the frequency, loudness levels and record the lowest sound the subject responds to.
During testing, the audiologist will tell you what to do for every sound you hear. For example, he or she may require you to raise your hand or finger should a sound become audible. Other tests done determine how vibrations travel through your ear include the use of a tuning (or vibrating) fork. The doctor places the metal device against the bone behind your ear to determine how well the vibrations move through the bone to your inner ear.
Advantages of Audiometry Testing
Apart from adherence to WHS regulations, audiometry testing done by the professionals at Australasian Safety Services will help determine what type of sonomax custom hearing protection you or your employee might require. This device is part of a custom created hearing protection system created to protect every individual ear.
The professionals will also help your company come up with noise management solutions through:
- Development and implementation of a noise policy
- Noise assessment audits
- Implementation of appropriate noise management strategies
- Regularly monitoring your employees through audiometric testing
- Provision of critical workplace audiometry training
- Provision of noise exposure awareness training
Australasian Safety Services conducts on-site health services for employees throughout Australia including onsite industrial audiometry testing, spirometry and vision screening. Australasian Safety Services also helps you adhere to national health, safety, and environmental laws. These laws require the identification of risks associated with all your work processes including noise, dust, and asbestos. Some of the solutions offered by the company include respirator fit testing among others.