Onsite Audiometric Testing
As an approved WorkCover WA service provider Environmental Site Services can ensure your company complies with the Australian Standard 1269.4 (AS 1269.4) by conducting onsite hearing screenings of your employees in our approved mobile air-conditioned, sound-proof booth.
An individual hearing screening will provide the following:
- Ascertain each employees hearing health including percentage loss in each ear
- Educate each individual on the importance of hearing protection, including correct application and maintenance of hearing protection worn
- Provide management with detailed results including individual graphs and report cards disclosing comparisons and threshold changes
- Provide further reports and charts relative to Australian Standards and database recording for management
- We can even record previous years screening results in our database to complete your noise management program
Hearing screening is a sure method to early detection of hearing loss due to exposure to excessive noise. The Standard recommends annual screening compliance, with most companies conducting on an annual or bi-annual basis to better manage their risk of Noise Induced Hearing Loss and potential workers compensation claims.
All new employees in a noisy workplace must have a baseline hearing test within 12 months of commencing employment – The baseline test or initial screening is the basis of attaining your employees hearing health followed by routine testing to monitor.
WorkCover audiometric tests
Personnel employed at a workplace that is considered to be a “Prescribed” workplace must have an initial baseline audiometric test within 12 months of commencing their employment. The employer must arrange and pay for this testing regardless of whether hearing protection is worn.
Please note: Audiometric tests conducted as part of a pre-employment medical are not reported to WorkCover and do not count as a baseline test.
WorkCover audiometric tests must be conducted by an approved WorkCover audiometric officer and the results of each test are uploaded onto the WorkCover database.
Workplace audiometric testing
If an employer is wanting to conduct audiometric testing for their employees as part of an initiative, health and safety program or just for information (but NOT have the results submitted to WorkCover and are not required to do so), then this can be accommodated by undertaking workplace audiometric testing.
What is a prescribed workplace?
WorkCover describes a prescribed workplace as – A prescribed workplace is a workplace or part of a workplace where workers receive or are likely to receive a representative daily noise dose (8 hour day) of 90dB(A) or above (approximately equal to the noise from an idling heavy motor truck at a distance of one metre). Or a peak noise exposure of 140dB(lin) at any time (approximately equal to the peak noise level from a blast or siren being sounded in close proximity to the worker).
How do I know if my workplace is considered to be a prescribed workplace?
The only way to know what noise levels your employees are being exposed to (and if your workplace is a prescribed workplace), is by having a noise survey conducted. This is the best way to to clearly understand what your obligations as an employer are.
The occupational noise survey is an important tool to identify significant sources of noise that could cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). It does not only consider noise levels taken throughout the survey but also the following:
- Personal noise exposure results;
- Hearing protection attenuation levels and adequacy;
- Prescription of mandatory hearing protection areas;
- Noise contour mapping;
- Provides recommendations on how to manage the noise and protect your employees.
Does personnel have to have the 16 hour “quiet period” prior to a workplace audiometric test?
Technically speaking, no they do not. However ENVSS does recommend that the 16 hour quiet period prior to any audiometric test be adhered to the best of the workers ability.
16hr Quiet Period?
Why should we make our workers adhere to the 16 hour quiet period for a Workplace audiometric test when It’s not legislation?
ENVSS strongly recommend personnel adhere to the standard 16 hour quiet period as for all audiometric tests. This helps to ensure personnel are provided with the most accurate information / data possible. It is important to remember that the reports generated from the audiometric tests are essentially a form of medical result, this can be a very sensitive and personal matter for some. ENVSS believe it’s important to always make every attempt to obtain the most accurate results possible for every person tested. This maintains integrity and provides value to the employer and the employee.
What does the 16 hour quiet period entail?
The 16 hours of quiet is defined as not being exposed to more that 80dB. In relation to WorkCover audiometric testing it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure employees receive 16 hours of quiet prior to the test, but it is the employees responsibility to not knowingly expose themselves to noise above 80dB.
What are you as an employer trying to achieve by undertaking Audiometric Testing?
There are a number of reasons why organisations undertake audiometric testing for their employees. ENVSS recommend that you, as an employer, know why this is a service that you want to have conducted before getting an audiometric officer onsite.
To review the relevant Legislation regarding audiometric testing and noise related workers compensation you can refer to the WorkCover website Here
Our further onsite capabilities include:
- Respirator Fit Testing
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
- Noise surveys
- Equipment noise compliance testing
- Audiometric booth calibration
- Workplace noise management plans to meet specific site requirements
- Provision of “Tool Box” presentations on proper use of hearing protectors
- Provision or Department of Mines and Petroleum Noise Officers for mine sites
- Information on “Buy Quiet” Policies
- Development of a Noise Policy for your site