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Audiometry is a health surveillance technique used to detect and reduce the risks posed by noise at work. It not only protects your employees’ health and safety, but should minimise your risk of litigation and avoid costly consequences.

If your employees are exposed to noise, audiometry is essential to ensure their safety – and should be an integral part of your occupational health strategy. We offer an expert hearing screening service for businesses and organisations across the UK.

The dangers of workplace noise

Work-related hearing damage is a preventable but irreversible condition.

According to HSE, it’s estimated that over 2 million people in the UK are or have been exposed to unacceptable levels of noise at work. Exposure to these excessive noise levels in the workplace can cause permanent harm, often without the individual becoming aware before it is too late. Not only is loud noise a danger to necessary communication, but it can also cause serious hearing damage such as:

  • Tinnitus – a permanent ringing sound in one or more ears
  • Deafness
  • An inability to hear clearly, especially in background noise

Noise is a non-visual safety hazard, so is often more overlooked than visual hazards. Difference sources of noise, such as power tools, chain saws, machinery, and vehicles can create a cumulative effect and cause damage in this way – it doesn’t have to be a single source for a short period of time. It’s no surprise that hearing loss caused by noise is the second most common reason for liability insurance claims for occupational health.

What is health surveillance

Health surveillance involves a series of health checks over a period of time to ensure that all employees are safe and from workplace hazards. It highlights areas to focus on when it comes to risk control, and if current measures aren’t working.

You must provide hearing checks as part of health surveillance for all employees regularly exposed to high or combined levels of noise, or if they are particularly sensitive to damage. According to the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, employers have a duty to take appropriate steps to reduce the risks of noise. We can detect conditions caused by workplace hazards including noise and put together a comprehensive health surveillance policy for you to implement in the workplace.

You need full cooperation and understanding from your employees for health surveillance to be effective.

The purpose of audiometry is to:

  • detect early signs of hearing damage
  • prevent damage from getting worse
  • check control measures are working
  • ensure employees understand the consequences of excessive noise
  • make sure PPE is being used correctly

How we can help

We can help you stay fully compliant with the appropriate noise at work regulations through our specialist health surveillance services. Contact us to discuss your requirements and we’ll help you ensure your workforce remains safe and healthy.

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