Noise is one of the most common workplace hazards. If not controlled, impact noise and excessive noise exposure leads to hearing loss in workers. Hearing loss due to overexposure to noise can be hard to detect as hearing loss is often gradual and is not usually recognized by the worker until their ability to communicate with others is impacted. The primary goal of a Hearing Conservation Program is to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, and pre-employment baseline testing and regular audiometric testing, as part of a Hearing Conservation Program, is a screening tool that can identify workers whose hearing has been affected so that steps can be taken to prevent additional hearing loss.
Audiometric testing alone does not protect workers from noise! It is only one component of a Hearing Conservation Program, but hearing testing can help determine whether the Hearing Conservation Program is effective and, in particular, whether hearing protection is working.
Hearing tests measure a worker’s threshold at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000 and 8000 Hz. Once a baseline test is conducted, subsequent periodic tests can be used for comparison to identify threshold shifts due to hearing loss. SASM uses Shoebox Audiometry’s portable audiometer technology with use on iPads for portable on-site testing outside of a sound booth. Shoebox Audiometry is compliant with ANSI S3.6, CSA Z107.6-16, ISO 13485, OSHA 29 CFR 1910 and Health Canada standards.
SASM’s trained Audiometric Technicians will:
- Complete a history questionnaire with each worker
- Administer the audiometric tests
- Provide post-test counselling to explain test results
- Provide each worker with a copy of their test
- Provide employers with a summary report that indicates the number of employees tested, percentage of normal test results, percentage of test results that indicated mild to severe noise-induced hearing loss and recommendations.
NOTE: Audiometric records (and history questionnaires) are considered medical confidential information so only the worker, technician and SASM’s Supervising Health Professional will see test results.
Additional referrals and counselling may be made by SASM’s Supervising Health Professional who oversees SASM’s Audiometric Testing Program. SASM maintains all confidential audiometric test results in accordance with the requirements of The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Occupational Health & Safety Regulations within the province of Saskatchewan.
Occupational Hygiene and Fit Testing
SASM offers a range of services to meet Occupational Health and Safety legislation including respiratory and hearing protection fit testing, and a variety of other occupational hygiene services.