Audiometric technician doing the hearing test on an adult woman using an audiometer in a mobile audio room.

Audiometry: The Difference Between Hearing Tests & Screenings

There’s a subtle difference between a few types of hearing testing that you might be looking for. It’s hard to know which is the right one if you haven’t looked into it yet. But one certainly sounds more in-depth than the other, doesn’t it? Let’s explore the finer distinctions between audiometric screening tests and more thorough hearing testing as with audiological assessments.


Do Employers Require Hearing Tests or Screenings?


For employers, there’s a legal requirement in provincial occupational health and safety standards concerning audiometric testing. OH&S Code part 16 requires employers to provide standardized hearing tests to workers in environments with operational noise exceeding 85 decibels. However, the key to this requirement is in monitoring over time.


A standardized screening test produces an audiogram, which can be kept as hearing conservation records – providing a warning that an employee might be losing their hearing and allowing for redoubled hearing conservation efforts. 3 screening tests over time are much more effective for hearing conservation than 1 full audiological health assessment. That’s where we come in and help employers with up-to-code and easy-to-book mobile audiometry screenings.

Do I Need an Audiometric Screening for OH&S in Industrial Settings?

Ear Testing

Basically put, anything more than screening is overkill for meeting your legal requirements to monitor employees’ hearing in noisy occupational settings. Screenings usually just involve checking for the presence of sound by asking the person to respond when they hear a sound, as with the pure tone test. These types of screenings can be important in identifying whether someone has a hearing loss, but they don’t give any information about the severity, or health implications. They just measure your hearing ability at various sonic frequencies.


So, if someone does have a hearing loss on a screening test, they’ll need to have a more comprehensive evaluation to determine the damage to the ear and what health issues arose afterwards if any. That’s where in-depth audiometric testing and audiological health evaluations might be warranted. Still, it saves time to put everyone through screenings while only following up on comprehensive diagnostic tests (also known as audiological assessments) in cases where a worker’s hearing has changed.

Ultimately, your company just needs to meet the OH&S standard. There’s no need to keep an ear doctor on-site to check each employee’s ear health and hearing ability daily. It would be far more effective to follow the basic requirements of the health code, meaning on-site, mobile audiometry screenings every 6 months would work for you, your employees, and OH&S officials. Call audiometric technicians like us if you need help with screenings, hearing conservation programs, noise measurement, and more.

Rocky Mountain Mobile Hearing Testing is your locally owned and operated Calgary business. We are committed to providing mobile hearing testing services and other safety tests to numerous industries and companies in Western Canada. Our services are part of the WorkSafeBC Provider Network, while our sound booths are approved by the CSA. We offer audiometry testing, mask fit testing, custom earplugs, noise measurements, help with implementing a hearing conservation program, and spirometry testing. If you want to improve your workplace, leave it in the hands of our team. Contact us today at (403) 399-4775.

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