Annual hearing testing3 min read
If your workers are exposed to noise greater than 85 dBA Lex (a full shift averaged exposure), you must provide them with all elements of the hearing loss prevention program, including annual hearing testing.
Providing hearing testing
There are two main ways to provide hearing testing for workers:
An employer can set up an in-house testing facility at the
worksite. The facility would include a hearing test booth with the required equipment, and at least one technician who has completed the industrial audiometric technician program at B.C. Institute of Technology.
In-house testing can be beneficial for large businesses because:
- It is easier to schedule tests
- The technician is familiar with the site, policies, and equipment
- Employees can be retested quickly and easily
This option may be difficult for small businesses because of the costs involved. For them, a neighbouring firm’s in-house facility, or hiring an industrial audiometric business, may be easier.
Industrial audiometric business
Employers can hire an industrial audiometric testing business (IAB) to perform the required hearing tests. Many businesses have mobile facilities that can perform the tests on jobsites. All industrial audiometric businesses must be approved by owner.
Getting test results
Your employee hearing test report shall be available online for you to review and download through your secure online services account. You can view the test results as soon as they’ve been submitted .
If you work in an environment with hazardous levels of noise (more than 85 dB averaged over an eight-hour shift), your employer is required to have your hearing tested each year. The employer pays for the testing.
After your hearing test, the technician will discuss the results with you and suggest any necessary follow-up. The technician can also recommend the best hearing protection for you to use.
Reporting hearing loss
If you have occupation-related hearing loss, you should tell your employer and seek medical treatment if required. You should also file a claim with us.
Tracking your hearing test results
Your employer may keep a copy of your test results or access them online. You should keep a record as well, especially if you may change jobs in the next year. The information is important as allows the technician at your next test to compare results from year to year to look for noise-related changes in your hearing.
Hearing test cards for construction workers
If you work in construction, you need to carry your hearing card test with you. This is because workers tend to move between employers more often in construction than in other industries. If you don’t carry your hearing test card, you will have to go back to former employers to get the information.