Noise in the Workplace
In many industries and occupations across Alberta, noise is one of the most common workplace hazards for employees. Exposure to loud noises in the workplace can damage a worker's ability to hear and because hearing loss happens gradually over time, people fail to notice changes in their hearing until a relatively large change occurs. Sadly, once hearing is lost, it cannot be replaced or repaired which is why it is vital that work-related hearing loss be prevented.
What is an Audiometric Test?
An Audiometric Test is a type of hearing test to establish a baseline measurement of the worker's hearing and to then monitor their hearing at regular intervals afterwards to detect changes in hearing ability.
The Occupational Health and Safety Code states that employer's must provide, at the employer’s expense, the following audiometric tests for a worker exposed to excess noise:
(a) an initial baseline test as soon as is practicable, but not later than 6 months after the worker is employed or within 6 months after a worker is exposed to excess noise because of a change in the worker’s duties or process conditions;
(b) not more than 12 months after the initial baseline test; and
(c) at least every 2nd year after the test under clause (b).
Are you exposed to loud noises at work? Have you noticed changes in your hearing? Speak to your employer about getting an Audiometric test. Workplace hearing loss is preventable with proper safety protocols and testing procedures, don't wait until it's too late.