Noise & Hearing Conservation

The program of hearing conservation that actively empowers employees to take responsibility for protecting their own hearing and fully protects our clients from claims for Noise-induced Hearing Loss is a unique service offered by IDC.

Supported by major law firms, the HSE and insurers this program ensure NIHL is correctly identified and that onward occupational health advise is sufficient to support that the hearing  of a noise exposed population has been correcltly managed such that all employees are protected against futher hearing loss due to expiosure to noise during their current employment.

How does the program work?

  1. The noise exposed work forced undertake diagnostic audiology which is conducted by a fully qualified Audiologist. Most occupational health hearing programs are very basic giving on a screening result rather than the important diagnostic assessment and interpretation.
  2. All noise induced hearing loss cases are identified and are interpreted in accordance with published medico-legal guidance[1]. Employees are fully informed of the result. This sets a legal date of knowledge. We interpret the results as follows:
    1. Normal against the integration standard 50%ile for age. Employees who have presbyacusis (natural age related high frequency loss) will fall into this category
    2. Non-noise related condition of the ear. Employees requiring intervention in accordance with NHS direct access protocol, will be referred to the NHS at no cost to AI
    3. Mild sub-clinical NIHL.
    4. Significant NIHL
    5. (Year 2 onwards) Deteriorating NIHL
  3. Full risk factors for the development of NIHL are recorded. It  is NOT assumed that any part of the hearing loss identified has been caused by current employment.
  4. PPE suitability ajnd sufficiency are advised upon both to the employee who has been identified as having hearing loss and to the employer. The employer is advised as to compliance issues and are advised how to manage non-compliance going forward.
  5. Although the HSE hearing catergory is provided as a reference this SHOULD NOT be used to identify cases of NIHL as the catergory system rates hearing for age and does not identify NIHL per say. The occupational health report will clearly reference the discrepancy between the two category systems.
  6. Case of hearing loss that do not support a diagnosis of NIHL are managed according to our NHS direct access audiology protocol and employees requiring medical intervention or NHS hearing aid services are referred to theior own GP.
  7. We examine the noise profile of the work place and advise upon any concerns. Of particular importance is impact noise exposure are the action level in relation to this is often disregarded or misunderstood. We will actively advise you as to way of reducing the hearing loss risk of all noise sources that can be achieved easily and without significant engineering modification.
  8. We assess the noise exposued work force the following year. At this point we will be looking for fine changes in the high frequency hearing that could suggest that NIHL is increasing. In these cases we will seek to determine if noise “at the ear” during workplace exposure events is below 80dB(A). At this level we can state that any subsequently developed loss must be due to “other causation” and not due to work place noise. If hearing loss is increasing and we cannot demonstrate 80dB or below is being achived we will advise on heightended control and PPE measures.
  9. If necessary in further years will will present our evidence to your firm and this will allow you to actively defend claims[2]

What does the program cost?

The program costs our clients no more than any traditional health surveillance program for noise and the added value of this service can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds of claim protection.

Where is the program provided?

At our clients premises from one of our bespoke Audiological Assessment facilities which is fuilly compliant with legal requirement meeting the BS EN ISO 8253-1 standard

For more support related to hearing loss please find the below useful links:

More of our Health Surveillance services

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