According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Each year, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. Over 30 million U.S. workers are exposed to chemicals, some of which are harmful to the ear (ototoxic) and hazardous to hearing.”
With such an impact on individuals and society, our services include an integrated Hearing Conservation Program. The important features of such a program include monitoring employee exposure, instituting workplace controls, fitting each employee with hearing protection, training employees in hazards and protection techniques, monitoring exposure through baseline and annual audiometry readings, taking measures to prevent further hearing loss when any loss has been detected during annual audiograms, and keeping detailed records of these findings.
Able Hearing offers a Hearing Conservation Program in compliance with OSHA regulations, including several services customized to your workplace needs. We begin with hearing testing, assist with hearing protection, and follow up with record keeping, as well.
On-Site Hearing Testing
We begin by providing annual hearing tests, as well as make-up tests for employees who missed your regular test event. Pre-employment hearing tests are crucial for new hires to determine how the workplace affects hearing ability. These are important to have completed as soon as possible—before starting work if possible—so that existing hearing loss doesn’t go undetected and result in a claim later on. We can conduct these exams one at a time in either of our convenient Portland area locations or on your premises for small or large groups. Our tests are designed in accordance with OSHA audiometric testing, so that you can report directly to government agencies with your findings. Annual hearing examinations not only monitor changes in individual employee hearing ability but also are a good way to understand the hearing health of your workplace as a whole. By aggregating the data from all annual hearing testing over several years, we can help you understand the hearing risks incurred at your workplace in comparison with other workplaces in your geographic area or industry.
Custom Hearing Protection
OSHA hearing conservation also requires the provision and training in hearing protection in the workplace, and Able Hearing provides many types of custom hearing protection as well as in-ear monitors for radio communication. Custom hearing protection comes in many forms, depending on the occupational needs of your employees. Some occupations can be completed easily while wearing larger noise-cancelling earmuffs, while others are better suited to custom-fitted earplugs that sit in the crevices of the outer ear. Remember, the best hearing protector is the one that gets worn, so if employees are taking earplugs out to talk or for other comfort issues the effectiveness drops dramatically. Able Hearing can help you develop employee training not only in the proper use of hearing protection but also in the ways to communicate and coordinate tasks within the workplace that will lead to maximum adoption among employees. These training programs are most effective when they do not only occur among new hires but periodically among all employees in noisy environments. Obtaining buy-in from existing employees, particularly those with seniority, can be a challenge, so we can help you envision creative ways to encourage all employees to adopt hearing protection.
OSHA-Compliant Record Keeping
Able Hearing can provide record keeping and reporting of your hearing conservation records. These records may seem complicated at first glance, including not only records of the administration of hearing tests but also training programs and dispensing of hearing protection. We at Able Hearing can make sure all of your OSHA compliance records are in place. In addition, we can review the results of your tests for determination of OSHO reporting, medical referrals, and Standard Threshold Shifts. Each of these benchmarks requires accuracy and completeness, so we can coach your team in the best methods of record-keeping and maintenance.
If you would benefit with assistance at any of these points of OSHA compliant hearing assessment, protection, and reporting, don’t hesitate to contact Able Hearing. We will be glad to discuss your needs and to devise a service plan to take the pressure off your management, human resources, and training departments, enabling you and your employees to do what you do best!