Why do we conduct Audiometric screening on employees?
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act details the determination of permanent disablement resulting from hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure. If a baseline audiogram was not done before 30 days of employment, the employer will be responsible for the total Percentage lost hearing (PLH).
South African National Standard (SANS) prescribes the measurement and assessment of occupational noise and audiograms for hearing conservation purposes.
What the Law says about Audio screening
The Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations stipulates that “no employer or self-employed person shall require or permit any person to enter any workplace under his or her control where such person will be exposed to noise at or above the 85dB noise-rating limit.”
It also prescribes the zoning of noise areas, wearing of hearing protection equipment in noise zones, identifying, preventing and controlling noise sources, and control of noise exposure. Furthermore it prescribes that Baseline audiograms had to be done before 16 November 2003 or within 30 days of starting work in a noise zone.
This is a preventable risk
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the most serious but also one of the most preventable industrial injuries. It is caused as a result of exposure to continuous noise ≥ 85 dB, for this reason a hearing conservation policy and programme is compulsory where the risk for NIHL exists.
Different types of hearing tests and when to conduct them:
Determines baseline hearing level at time of employment and is the first hearing test an employee has and has to be done within 30 days of employment.
If an employee is exposed to noise levels ≥ 85 dB then this is done annually or, if noise exposure is ≥ 105dB then the screening must be conducted 6 monthly ). Referral to an Audiologist for diagnostic testing is done if the percentage lost hearing is >6.4%.
Is done on termination of employment, and a copy of the baseline and exit audiogram should be given to employee
Diagnostic audiogram –
If the percentage lost hearing (PLH)) is found to be > 6.4%, the employee should be referred to an Audiologist for a diagnostic audiogram. This test will determine the nature and percentage of the hearing loss.
Contact us for more information or to book for your audiogram today on 0861 873 477 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org