Occupational deafness is a type of sensorineural hearing loss. It is caused by prolonged ongoing exposure to high level of noise at work. The noise passes through the outer ear, ear canal and ear drum and enters into the middle and inner ears. Too much noise at work can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss or tinnitus—ringing in the ears. Hearing damage can occur from extended exposure to noise or exposure to very loud impact or explosive sounds. Deafness is irreparable and it is therefore imperative that workers exposed to noise and are required to wear hearing protection are screened at least every two years accordingly to relevant state and territory Noise Regulations.
Audiometry Screening is the process of assessing someone’s ability to be able to hear a range of differing frequencies of sounds. There are two main reasons why an employer must conduct audiometry screening. Firstly, if a potential employee is likely to have exposure to prolonged noise levels within the role E.g. Factory Worker, it is imperative to undertake an audiometry screen to identify their baseline of hearing prior to employment. Secondly, if your employees have an ongoing exposure to noise where hearing protection is required legislative screening every two years is required based on the applicable State or Territory Noise Regulations.