Audiometry Routine

Audiometry by HSMC is undertaken according to a strict routine to give confidence in the validity of the results and to identify all attendees who may be at risk. Our testing complies with the current Health and Safety Executive guidelines and the Bitish Society of Audiology procedures for Pure Tone Audiometry.

STEP 1: Pre-test hearing health audiometry questionnaire

Before the hearing test can begin the attendee needs to answer some hearing-health questions which aim to identify any health-related factors which may have an impact on the audiometry results. These include issues such as deafness in the family, a history of diseases which can affect hearing such as meningitis or mumps, any accidents which affected their hearing, any past medical problems with their hearing and importantly, whether they are suffering from a cold or not.

STEP 2: Otoscopic examination of the ear

This is an important part of the audiometry and provides some basic information on the health of the ear before we start the test. We check that the ear canal is clear and that the the ear drum looks healthy, using an otoscope to look at each ear. With this we can check for wax build-up, any inflammation of the ear canal, foreign objects, etc.

STEP 3: Audiometry test itself

This is the main component of the audiometry process. This consists of the subject wearing a set of headphones and a series of sounds being played to them. The sounds vary in pitch and volume and aim to find the quietest noise which the individual can hear across the range of audible frequencies.

The results are then examined to identify any issues and they are categorised according to the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) classification criteria. HSMC can confirm that our audiometry complies with the requirements of the 2005 Noise Regs.

STEP 4: Review of audiometry results

The audiometry results are then discussed with the attendee. This is important as it ensures they understand the results and the real-life meaning for them. Often this is the most valuable part of the audiometry programme and can greatly improve compliance with the requirements to wear hearing protection while on the job.

Where audiometry has been undertaken previously the most recent results are compared against the previous figures to determine if any changes have occurred during the intervening time.

STEP 5: Employer's Audiometry Report

A report will be generated for the employer, summarising the results and identifying any trends which may have become evident during the testing. Copies of all individual audiometry results are included for each attendee in either graphical or tabular form.

We will make recommendations on the individuals' suitability for work or give detail on any restrictions or changes which may be required to enable them to continue to work safely.

The Audiometry Equipment

HSMC uses laptop-controlled audiometers for fast accurate results with both noise reducing booths and noise-reducing headphones. For the testing location, we have three trailer-mounted mobile audiometry studios which can be parked on site, or also offer to conduct the testing in a quiet meeting room or office if one is available. The advantages of this are that the client can choose what is most apporpriate for them - if there is no quiet indoor area then we can provide a trailer, or if there is a suitable indoor location we can test there and pass the cost savings from not using one of the audiometry trailers on to the client, saving a bit of cash.

Out of Hours Audiometry Service

HSMC offers a complete 24 hour service and will undertake the audiometry at the times that suit you, including evenings, nights, bank holidays and weekends. Normally there is no extra charge for this. Sadly, with the advent of employee rights we do now grant employees time off at Christmas, sometimes even for the whole day, the idle slackers!

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