From Awareness to Action: Promoting Hearing Health in the Workplace

With health and safety continuing to grow and plant its roots firmly into the day to day life of the workplace, things such as the importance of protecting the long and short term hearing of employees can often be overlooked. It is highly important that staff are well informed of the risks and solutions related to noise induced hearing loss in the workplace to promote a future of healthy hearing!

Noise induced hearing loss is one of the most prevalent forms of workplace hearing damage, occurring due to prolonged exposure to loud noise without adequate protection. It is important to raise awareness of this due to the nature of which it presents. With most workplace injuries or risks they appear with immediate effect whereas noise induced hearing loss develops gradually over time, most don't notice it until it is too late! So take precautions! Living with noise induced hearing loss can be detrimental to quality of life in both personal and professional settings through impaired communication.

Audiometry testing is a process of paramount importance to recognising signs of noise induced hearing loss early as well as maintaining healthy hearing levels. By undertaking audiometry testing, employers can recognise signs of hearing loss and continue to monitor employees hearing levels, allowing them to take the appropriate precautions and make changes to PPE or work processes to ensure a lifetime of healthy hearing for their employees and minimise absenteeism.

Audiometry testing provides an evaluation into an individual's hearing sensitivity in a range of frequencies. This allows us to recognise certain frequencies that may be less sensitive than others therefore giving a suggestion into what may be the cause, for example hearing loss at only a certain frequency would suggest noise induced hearing loss. By recognising drops in certain frequencies early it can allow appropriate alterations to be made to the individual's role or equipment required.

Alternatively, our testing may find no issues with anyone's hearing sensitivity. In this instance it stands to reason that the current measures in place are effective and our testing allows the employer to rest easy knowing that they are currently in full compliance and effectiveness when it comes to noise levels and their employees health and well-being. Typically hearing testing is done annually and so regular checks can allow for any deteriorations or changes to be noticed early, and appropriately resolved.

The process also allows employers to recognise occupational hazards in their workplace. Through monitoring of employees hearing levels, employers can recognise certain areas where it may be necessary to implement noise control measures to ensure healthy employees and legal compliance

Promoting and enforcing hearing health in the workplace is more than simply compliance with wearing correct PPE, it requires a culture of awareness and education on the risks and effects of incorrect hearing protection. This allows employees to understand why they are required to do the things they do and be proactive in protecting themselves to maximise compliance, as opposed to feeling like it is simply a rule they must follow.

Every step taken towards promoting hearing health contributes in its own way to a healthier, safer and more productive work environment for all employees.

Partner with an Occupational Health specialist

Opus helps you maximise employee wellbeing, without compromising safety and security. Talk to us about audiology, spirometry, and ongoing health surveillance services to raise standards across your entire business.

We’re available on 0330 043 4015 or