What’s the difference between an audiogram and audiometry? When you go in for testing, in cooperation with your employer or along with your employees, you might have questions about the process and what to expect. This post will shed some light on the modes and methods available, and the one used exclusively by audiometric testers like Rocky Mountain Mobile Hearing Testing.


Audiometry Test Vs. Audiogram


More broadly, an audiogram is part of the process of audiometry. An audiogram results from an screening test employing wide ranges of frequency (Hz) and volume (dB). Audiometry testing for industrial, agricultural, construction services, and more can assess such workers’ ability to detect a wide range of sounds.


There are quite a few methods to test hearing, and many serve infant patients who require unique testing methods. Examples of such niche testing methods include evoked otoacoustic emissions (EOAE), auditory brainstem response (ABR), auditory steady state response (ASSR), visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA), and more. But for industrial hearing tests, only one type of testing is appropriate.


The pure tone testing method is the gold standard in audiometric testing for older children and adults, so it’s perfect for industrial hearing testing. Pure tone testing produces a detailed audiogram to help your audiometric technician understand the results and whether they fall within normal or abnormal ranges. Comprehensive testing equipment can help your hearing test technician with any grey areas. 


Mobile Industrial Hearing Testing in Southern Alberta

Hearing test being done on woman from mobile testing truck.

In industrial centers like Calgary or rural industries in the surrounding areas of southern Alberta or BC, mobile hearing tests can make these strict testing deadlines go a lot more smoothly. Included is an audiogram with interpretation from experienced hearing audiometric technicians who know what to look for.


So, how can you use the data from an audiometric assessment to determine if there are issues with your hearing or not? You’re free to ask the technicians performing the hearing tests, as they can provide helpful and relevant information that you can use to determine your next course of action.


Having hearing testing done on-site offloads the tremendous logistical requirements of moving employees around on company time and keeps a record of just how good your employees’ hearing is—all in a timely manner. That way, everyone is covered.


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 the CSA approved our sound booths. 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.

How we interpret your audiometric assessment results revolves around the ear’s sensitivity. Luckily, your ear is a flexible thing. If your ear is exposed to brief or less-than-extreme loudness, it can bounce back and regain the sensitivity you’re used to. But very loud or sustained noise can severely hinder your ear’s ability to bounce back, and you can lose your hearing.


Through careful study, private and government organizations have established an understanding of the limits to which your ears can flex with the noise of the workplace—called thresholds. Hearing loss is defined as a shift beyond the average threshold, and qualified audiometric technicians like us are certified to interpret the results correctly. When you get an audiogram, we’ll be looking for normal results and normal shifts. But how do we look for those results.


Normal & Abnormal Shifts in Audiometric Testing


Baseline testing is one thing industrial, construction, agricultural, or any workers exposed to noise need, by law. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Code, a baseline test must establish the worker’s hearing thresholds within 6 months of being exposed to noise on the job.


Baseline testing gives context to later tests, and shows what the worker’s hearing is like early into their first months of employment where noise levels are a hazard. The same OH&S Code notes in section 223 that additional hearing tests must be administered within 12 months of baseline testing, and again once every 2 years, minimum. We can observe a shift by comparing a recent test or several tests with the baseline.


Rocky Mountain Hearing can better understand thresholds falling within normal and abnormal ranges, and whether abnormal shifts result from the work environments. So what are the average metrics defining shifts in normal and abnormal thresholds?


A worker holding his ear feels the effects of hearing loss as an abnormal shift develops

An “Abnormal shift” means a threshold shift, in either ear, of 15 dB at two consecutive test frequencies from 1000 Hz up to and including 6000 Hz when compared to the baseline test.


But gathering and interpreting audiometric assessment results requires qualified personnel. And we’re certified to ensure that the results are a precise measurement of the worker’s hearing.


Audiometric Assessment Results Vs Audiometric Testing


Industrial hearing tests ensure that workers’ hearing isn’t changing due to noise. If there are abnormal test results, Rocky Mountain Mobile Hearing Testing have audiologists review the results and recommend followup. An audiometric assessment is the next step! A trained healthcare professional will look at a worker’s baseline hearing test, and their subsequent hearing test results to look for differences that aid a medical diagnosis. We’re here to interpret your employees’ results per OH&S Code and flag any results that aren’t quite normal.


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.

Audiometry testing is a useful way to gauge your hearing capabilities. It is made more effective with multiple tests over a period of time, as this allows you to see any changes in your hearing and address any problems as they arise. Still, when given a line graph with numbers and symbols on it, you may not be able to decipher their meaning without a proper explanation. That is what we offer below. 

audiometric-testing

Defining the X and Y Axis’s of Your Audiometry Test

Typically, the X-axis (horizontal) of your audiometry test will be the frequency of the sound, measured in hertz (Hz). Frequency is the measure of a soundwave’s repetition in a certain time frame. Lower frequencies sound deeper and repeat less often. Higher frequencies sound higher and repeat more often. 


The Y-axis (vertical) of your audiometry test represents the intensity of the sound, expressed in decibels (dB). Intensity is a measure of the soundwave’s energy and acts much like the volume buttons on a television remote. More decibels mean a louder sound, which is easier to perceive.


Defining the Plotted Line of Your Audiometry Test

Audiometry testing assesses your ability to hear a range of frequencies. As you proceed through the test, the intensity of the sound will increase until you indicate you can hear it. Each point on the line is where you indicated you could hear the frequency and the intensity of the sound at that time. 


An adult with no hearing loss will identify all frequencies within 0 to 25 dB, and a child 0 to 15 dB. Results with higher intensities indicate that the individual has experienced some hearing loss, which can be addressed with hearing aids and other methods if needed. 


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.

No, hearing testing is not mandatory for every business or every employee. However, we recommend that everyone undergo regular testing throughout their lives to ensure that any changes can be noticed and addressed without worsening or ignorance. With that being said, there are some exceptions to the rule where hearing testing is a legislative requirement of continued operation.

hearing-testing

When Is Hearing Testing Mandatory? 

As described in the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) legislation, many businesses will have to perform regular audiometric assessments. These businesses share the same qualities, which is that loud noises are an expected part of their operation. From sound technicians to welding shops and many companies in-between, this quality marks the minimum boundary upon which, at least, an assessment into the extent of the noise exposure of workers must be conducted. 


This investigation must be done by a qualified person and follow standards set out in the OHS legislation. By taking measurements throughout the company’s facilities at different locations and intervals, a reasonable conclusion about the level of noise can be reached. If the noise is found to exceed the baseline where hearing damage can occur (85 dBa), a hearing conservation program must be implemented. 

What Are the Requirements for a Hearing Conservation Program? 

The requirements for a hearing conservation program include annual hearing testing, policy and procedure formulation and the availability of hearing protection that reduces the volume to within acceptable limits. This helps ensure that employees have access to the tools and equipment they need to stay safe on-site and that the boundaries and expectations of the employer are clearly defined.


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.

Mobile hearing testing is a great way for employers to ensure they comply with occupational health and safety legislation. It allows them to test their employees without having to send them off-site, or spend their personal time on business affairs. It is also important to remember that mobile hearing testing is only required if there are detrimental levels of sound present at the workplace. However, the question remains: how often should you receive mobile hearing testing?


Legislatively, mobile hearing testing is only required annually. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, when hearing testing is done annually, it allows new employees to establish a base-line average for their hearing. Secondly, it allows returning employees to compare the results of their hearing test year-over-year, so that they can see if there are any differences or degradations since their last appointment.


mobile-hearing-testing


However, sometimes annual mobile hearing tests are insufficient. Circumstances can arise that would require mobile hearing testing to occur at a frequency of every six months. These would include new processes or machinery that increases workers’ potential exposure to high levels of noise. As well, if there was a workplace incident or an employee had an incident where they were exposed to high levels of noise exceeding the occupational exposure limit (OEL) there could be sufficient cause to increase their hearing testing, to see if a change has occurred.


Mobile Hearing Testing Helps Keep Your Employees Protected

In closing, annual hearing testing is an important requirement for employers who have high volumes of sound present at their workplace. Industrial and commercial industries are often the employers required to do this testing, but if you are unsure if mobile hearing testing is required in your workplace, it is important to do a test of the audio levels in your workplace. This will remove the guesswork, and make it easy to know whether you should consult certified and mobile audiometric testing professionals.


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 on (403) 399-4775.