Audiometric Testing

What is Audiometric Testing?

Audiometric Testing comprises a Pure Tone Air Conduction Test. Audiometric Tests measure the hearing threshold levels of each ear of a person.

 

The hearing threshold level is the softest level of sound which the person can hear at 8 frequencies.

The person undertaking the test is presented with a series of beeps at the following frequencies: 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 1500Hz, 2000Hz, 3000Hz, 4000Hz, 6000Hz and 8000Hz. These beeps are heard through a set of calibrated headphones which the person wears while being tested. The person then responds that they heard the beeps by pressing a button on a response buzzer.

Each ear (Right Ear and Left Ear) is tested separately.

Audiometric Tests are done in accordance with AS1269.4:2014 standards can be performed either onsite by Attune Workplace Hearing at your nominated site location(s) or in-clinic at any Attune Hearing Clinic within Australia.

Each audiometric test takes between 6-8 minutes to conduct. 

 

Onsite Audiometric Testing

Onsite Audiometric Tests by Attune Workplace Hearing are conducted in accordance with AS2169.4:2014 standards. The following onsite testing environment options are available:

Option 1: Audiometric Booth provided by Attune Workplace which is then pushed into a quiet room or quiet location onsite.

Option 2: Acoustically Sound Treated room (provided by client – only if available onsite)

Our audiometric testing officers can travel to a single site location or multiple site locations, as per the request of our clients.

We aim to create the quietest environment possible onsite for audiometric testing, to ensure accuracy and consistency with audiometric test results for our clients.

Each audiometric test takes 6-8 minutes per person.

Attune Workplace Hearing refrains from using Mobile Vans, as the issue with Mobile Vans is noise interference from delivery trucks, fork lifts, birds and wildlife, machinery and tools, road traffic and foot traffic onsite. Noise from outside a mobile van can often be heard inside the van, which interferes with the testing environment. In most cases, noise interference leads to inaccuracy and inconsistency in the audiometric test results, as the response from the person being tested may be false. This would mean having the person(s) retested again in another test environment that meets the AS1269.4:2014 standards for audiometric testing.

 

Audiometric Booth used by Attune for Onsite Audiometric Testing:

  • Complies with ISO Standard BS EN ISO 8253-1:2010.
  • Easily manoeuvrable as the audiometric booth is on castor wheels.
  • Fits through any standard size doorway into a room (ie: Office / Meeting / First Aid Room)
  • Can be pushed up and down wheel chair ramps to the room.

 

In-Clinic Audiometric Testing

Attune Hearing has over 60 diagnostic audiology clinics in Australia where audiometric tests can be undertaken.

In-Clinic Audiometric Tests are done in accordance with AS1269.4:2014 standards and can be undertaken at any Attune Hearing Clinic. The following in-clinic testing options are available:

Option 1: Acoustically Treated Room at the clinic

Option 2: Audiometric Booth located inside the clinic room

Audiometric tests done in-clinic will be performed by our audiologists whom are accredited by Audiology Australia.

Note: If an employee has missed out on their onsite audiometric test due to sick leave, annual leave or RDO, they can have their audiometric test undertaken at any Attune Hearing Clinic at the same price quoted for onsite tests. 

Why is Audiometric Testing required?

Audiometric Testing is required under WHS Regulation 58, and Section 5.7 in Code of Practice for Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work:

 

WHS Regulation 58: Audiometric Testing

(1) This clause applies in relation to a worker who is frequently required by the person conducting the business or undertaking to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the worker from the risk of hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard for noise**.

**Exposure Standard for Noise is: LAeq,8h = 85dB(A) averaged over 8 hours, or LC,Peak = 140dB(C)

LAeq,8h is an 8 hour equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level in decibels (dB(A)) referenced to 20 micropascals. This is the steady noise level which would in the course of an 8 hour period, cause the same A-weighted sound energy that would be caused by the actual noise during an actual working day, determined in accordance with AS/NZS 1269.1:2005;

LC,peak is a C-weighted peak noise level. This is the C-weighted peak hold sound pressure level in decibels (dB(C)) referenced to 20 micropascals, determined in accordance with AS/NZS 1269.1:2005;

(2) The person conducting the business or undertaking who provides the personal protective equipment as a control measure must provide audiometric testing for the worker:

  1. Within 3 months of the worker commencing the work, and
  2. In any event, at least every 2 years.

 

Section 5.7 ‘Audiometric Testing’ – Code of Practice for Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work:

Baseline / Pre-Employment Audiometric Testing:

Baseline Audiometric Tests must be provided within 3 months of the worker commencing work, or during pre-employment medicals.

Follow-Up Audiometric Testing (Monitoring):

a) Follow-Up Audiometric Tests (Monitoring) must be carried out at least every 2 years. These audiometric tests are to be undertaken well into the work shift so that any temporary hearing loss (known as temporary threshold shifts) can be picked up.

b) If noise exposures LAeq,8h are equal to or greater than 100dB(A), then more frequent audiometric testing (ie: every 6 months) may be needed.

 

What are the components of an Audiometric Testing Program?

Inform staff of Audiometric Testing:

Before introducing an audiometric testing program, you must consult with your workers and their health and safety representatives. It is important that your workers understand that the aim of the audiometric testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of noise control measures to protect their ears and hearing.

Determine which employees require Audiometric Testing:

Determine which employees are exposed to a noise level LAeq,8h of 85dB(A) or higher averaged over 8 hours per day, and list their names. These employees will require a Baseline Audiometric Test, and have regular follow-up Monitoring Audiometric Tests at least every 2 years.

Organise Audiometric Testing:

Once the list of employees is finalised, audiometric tests (pure tone audiometry) are carried out for each employee in accordance with AS1269.4:2014 standards by our qualified Audiometric Testing Officers, and Audiologists.

Audiometric Tests can either be conducted onsite at your preferred site location(s) or in-clinic at any Attune Hearing Clinic within Australia.  

Each employee will receive their own individual test result and a letter from Attune Workplace Hearing:

Results from the audiometric test are reviewed and marked by our Senior Audiologists, accompanied by a letter (pass or referral) written up by Attune’s Clinical Director indicating whether the employee has passed, or whether an employee didn’t pass and requires a Full Diagnostic Audiology Examination to be conducted due to various indicators for referral (ie: Unilateral / Bilateral Tinnitus, Asymmetry and / or Hearing Loss).

Audiometric Test Results provided to the employer:

The employer will receive a spreadsheet with compiled audiometric test results from all employees tested, and a company summary report from Attune Workplace Hearing.

Results Discussion:

If you have any queries relating to the audiometric test results or reports, our team at Attune Workplace Hearing will be happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have.

 

Pre-Employment (Medical) Audiometric Tests:

Attune Workplace Hearing can undertake Pre-Employment (Medical) audiometric tests. These tests are often used as a baseline audiometric test, which can be used to compare the results of any shifts in hearing as part of the monitoring audiometric test.

Each test takes 6-8 mins per person.

Please contact our team at Attune Workplace Hearing on Tel: 1300 998 682 or Email: wadmin@attune.com.au for a quote.

 

What is a Full Audiology Assessment?

For any employee who did not pass their audiometric test, it is recommended they secure a full diagnostic test at any Attune Hearing clinic in Australia to exclude an undiagnosed medical condition. 

This is recommended as the Full Audiology Examinations are a more comprehensive assessment comprising of four tests:

  1. Pure Tone Audiometry (Air Conduction Test)
  2. Bone Conduction Test
  3. Tympanometry and Acoustic Reflex Tests which checks the functioning of the middle ear
  4. Speech Test 

Full Audiology Examinations are conducted by our audiologists whom are accredited by Audiology Australia, and a full report is written up.

Each test takes 30 mins per person.

 

When are Full Audiology Examinations required?

In Section 9.3 of AS1269.4:2014 standards “the person tested shall be requested to undergo further audiometric examination on another day, after 16 hour in quiet conditions, where the results of monitoring audiometry when compared with the results of reference audiometry, show:

  1. a shift in average threshold at 3000, 4000 and 6000 Hz greater than or equal to 5dB;
  2. a shift in mean threshold greater than or equal to 10 dB at 3000Hz and 4000Hz;
  3. a change in mean threshold greater than or equal to 15dB at 6000Hz;
  4. a threshold shift greater than or equal to 15 dB at 500Hz, 1000Hz, 1500Hz or 2000Hz; or
  5. a threshold shift greater than or equal to 20dB at 8000Hz.

If the threshold shift is confirmed, the person should be referred for a medical opinion concerning the cause of the shift…Temporary threshold shifts in test subjects [person tested] suggest that the noise management program may be failing”.

In Victoria, Regulation 38 in OHS Regulation 2017 (Version No. 3) states: “the results of 2 or more audiometric tests of an employee under regulation 37 during a period not exceeding 2 years indicate a reduction in hearing levels equal to or greater than 15 decibels at 3000 Hz, 4000 Hz or 6000 Hz, the employer must provide for the employee to undergo an audiological examination as soon as reasonably possible”.

 

What is a Speech Discrimination Test?

Speech Discrimination Tests involve a Pure Tone Audiometry Test and Speech Test only. Often this assessment is for employees who work in call centres, or are applying for call centre work usually in the government sector.

Speech Discrimination Tests are conducted at the Attune Hearing clinics by our audiologists whom are accredited by Audiology Australia, to perform the test.

Each test takes 15-20 mins per person.

 

Accessing Fitness to Drive for Commercial Drivers? 

Under Section 4.2.1 of Accessing Fitness to Drive for Commercial Vehicle Drivers, drivers of commercial vehicles are required to meet a hearing standard.

An audiometric test (pure tone audiometry) should be arranged if there is doubt about the person’s hearing.

If the results from the audiometric test, indicate that the person has an unaided hearing loss of greater than or equal to 40dB in the better ear (average over the following frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 3000Hz, then they do not meet the criteria for an unconditional licence. 

Attune’s Audiologists can conduct the audiometric test at the Attune Hearing Clinic, and assess the employee according to the hearing standard requirements for Accessing Fitness to Drive for Commercial Vehicle Driver.

The report will then indicate if they meet or do not meet the criteria for an unconditional licence.

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