What Does Audiometric Testing Mean?
Audiometric testing measures the test subject’s ability to hear sounds. During audiometric testing, pure tones are delivered to the test subject via headphones. The test is used to determine the minimum volume, or intensity, necessary for the subject to hear each tone. An audiometry test is more sensitive than a simple screening test and can detect the early stages of hearing loss.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Audiometric Testing
Sounds greater than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, especially with prolonged exposure. Federal standards require that regular hearing tests be conducted for employees who are subject to being exposed to sounds above a time-weighted-average of 85 decibels during the course of their workday.
An audiometric testing program will include audiometric testing before exposure in order to establish a baseline hearing level for the employee and subsequent testing annually in order to detect any hearing loss.
Regular screening of employees for hearing loss not only protects employees from long-term hearing damage, but also alerts the employers to flaws in its hearing protection program. An employer should consider the aggregate results of its employees' audiometric tests when conducting its annual hearing conservation program evaluation. Conducting regular audiometric testing can often help to catch potential safety issues in the workplace before severe damage is done to multiple employees. It also serves as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of workplace hearing loss protection programs so that continuing adjustments and improvements to worksite safety can be made.