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.

Some companies prefer to approach their safety programs with reluctance and begrudging acceptance rather than with zeal, curiosity and excitement. These companies often struggle to see the value behind safety programs like PPE policies and hearing conservation programs. However, the reality is that these programs—when properly implemented—are extremely cost effective for all parties involved.


More evidence is coming out showing how properly implemented safety programs reduce the time it takes people to do their job and significantly reduces the likelihood of work-related accidents and the medical, insurance and operating costs associated with them. Below, we look at these and other reasons why hearing conservation programs and safety culture, in general, are more cost-effective than the alternative.


How Hearing Conservation Programs Save You Money

hearing-conservation-program

Reducing the Likelihood of Hearing Loss

We begin with perhaps the most obvious benefit of safety and hearing conservation programs, which is the reduction of work-related accidents. With custom hearing plugs and properly designated “loud” areas, most employees will be at substantially less risk of hearing loss. The same is true for engineered controls on process equipment, like selecting less noisy equipment or adding barriers to reduce noise travel. 


Improving Efficiency

One of the most common gripes we hear is that “safety takes time that I don’t have” or something along those lines. However, the first step in developing a safety program—in Alberta, at least—is creating a job inventory to develop hazards assessments from. Can you think of a better way to itemize the duties that each employee performs in the run of their day? 

But why is having an itemized list of tasks relevant to efficiency? Because it gives you the ability to focus on a particular area, identify problems or process improvements, implement them and monitor their success. This is one of the most powerful tools available to employers. 


Let’s take a look at a brief example. Your workplace has a bench grinder, which is used once or twice a day by all your employees. You know that it requires hearing protection during use because of the manufacturer’s instructions, and you just can’t understand why none of your employees are willing to wear them. In examining the hearing conservation program, you realize that you’ve put the disposable ear plugs at the far end of the shop, making remembering or using them a struggle. Putting them above the bench grinder almost immediately removes the problem. 


Increasing Employee Retention & Job Outcomes

Labour is the highest cost to most businesses, and turnover rate only confounds that issue in companies that require skilled workers. The catch-22 of this reality is that skilled workers are almost always in demand, making retention a serious concern for these same businesses. Luckily, studies have shown that safety programs actually increase employee retention.

The reason this works is that safety programs show a clear commitment from employers to their employees. Plus, they create avenues for feedback and improvement on both sides of the fence through morning meetings, regular training and other communication platforms. 


Learn How Hearing Conservation Programs Can Save You Money Today

We make it easy to implement hearing conservation programs that work for the needs of your business, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help. 


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

Hearing protection and hearing testing are about much more than personal protective equipment (PPE) and good recordkeeping. These are legislative requirements set forth by provincial and territorial governments across Canada. They are also designed to protect employees and employers from hearing loss, damage and other issues.


The regulatory restrictions set forth by these governing bodies are informed by research and study of those who have suffered hearing loss related to their work. They look at the nominal noise levels at most workplaces and set standards for addressing businesses and locations where those noise levels are exceeded on a regular or repeated basis. Below, we look at what this legislation contains, as well as how to implement a hearing conservation program at your company.


The Decibel Level and Hearing Testing Requirements

The decibel level above which you should wear hearing protection is 85 dBA Lex. This is set out by the Occupational Health & Safety Code, though many safety organizations and regulators set the same cutoff limit. Section 217(1) of the code gives this direction and specifies the conditions where it does not apply. 


How to Determine the Noise Levels at Your Workplace

The part of the OHS code that deals with noise exposure is Part 16, and it describes all the requirements surrounding noise exposure in Albertan workplaces. Where it concerns hearing testing and noise exposure assessments, the legislation states that an employer must complete a noise exposure assessment if their workers are or may be exposed to noise exceeding the 85 dBA Lex limit set out above.


Noise Exposure Assessments, Hearing Testing & More

Rocky Mountain Mobile Hearing Testing helps businesses of all sizes with noise exposure assessments, hearing testing for affected employees and the implementation of hearing conservation programs. We are experienced, mobile and ready to help, so call today for more information or to book an appointment. 


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

As the need for audiometric testing steadily grows, many businesses are looking to find more information about this interesting topic. One of the questions on the top of their minds is, “what is the regulatory standard for hearing testing in the trades?” As long-time proponents of hearing health and testing, we couldn’t be happier to provide information on this, which we do below.


Provincial Legislation

Alberta

Within Alberta, all safety legislation falls under the purview of Occupational Health and Safety. Three documents offer information about this legislation and audiometric testing, namely the OHS Act, Regulation and Code. For specific information about noise exposure, refer to Part 16 of the Code. 

British Columbia

In British Columbia, five documents are essential to the understanding of audiometric testing and safety at the workplace. These documents are: 

For specific information about noise exposure, refer to the OHS Guidelines, Division 1 -Noise Exposure.

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, health and safety standards operate under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, together with The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985 and The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations. For links to downloadable versions of these resources, consult this page on their website. Information specifically related to audiometric testing can be found in POL 11/ 2012 of the policy and procedure manual. 

audiometric-testing

Related, Relevant Standards

Although government legislation is often the first place to look for information regarding safety information, it is far from the only location. Indeed, many regulations refer to additional standards and documents that further describe and explain the intention of certain standards. You can see a list of these documents related specifically to audiometric testing down below. 

ANSI Standards

  • S1.25-1991 (R2002), Specification for Personal Noise Dosimeters 
  • S1.4-1983 (R2006), Specification for Sound Level Meters
  • S1.43-1997 (R2002), Specifications for Integrating-Averaging Sound Level Meters
  • S3.6-2004, Specification for Audiometers 

CSA Standards

  • Z94.2-14, Hearing Protection Devices — Performance, Selection, Care, and Use
  • Z107.56-06, Procedures for the Measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure
  • CAN/CSA-Z321-96 (R2006), Signs and Symbols for the Workplace

IEC Standards

  • 61672-1 (2002), Electroacoustics – Sound Level Meters – Part 1: Specifications 
  • 61672-2 (2003), Electroacoustics – Sound Level Meters – Part 2: Pattern evaluation tests 


Talk to the Audiometric Testing Experts Today

Still want to know more about audiometric testing? We would be more than happy to answer all your questions and concerns, so contact us today!


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.    

When it comes to hearing testing, there are many questions to be answered. For example, “who sets up industrial hearing testing?” Answering this question is relatively straightforward, as it is business representatives, like safety consultants, who set up the appointments. We explain in more detail below.

hearing-testing

Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up Industrial Hearing Testing


Organizing Mobile Hearing Testing Services

The process of setting up industrial hearing testing is fairly simple. A business representative will contact our mobile hearing testing service and inquire about the availability of our services. Next, we decide on a time and location for the hearing testing to take place. When the right date arrives, our testing unit will come on-site, park in a convenient location and check in with the site contact. Where necessary, our team will attend relevant safety training and site orientation before the testing begins.

Other Considerations

Depending on the size of your company, you may want to consider organizing the appointment times for hearing testing. Very large companies may prefer to organize the testing by department (accounting, welding, etc.), name or another method. The process takes 12-15 minutes per person, so it is not advisable to queue outside the testing unit. 


Contact Our Mobile Hearing Testing Service Today!

To book an appointment for hearing testing at your facility, simply Rocky Mountain Mobile Hearing Testing a call. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have and book your testing appointment at a time that is convenient for you. 


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.    

Audiometry testing accomplishes several key benefits. It ensures your hearing is maintained, alerts you to any changes or unsafe practices at your worksite, and best of all, keeps you in compliance with Alberta Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Code. Usually, it is this last item that really gets people to pay attention. 


And for good reason. The requirements of the Act, Regulations and Code have only become more stringent in recent times. With the addition of administrative penalties, this trend is likely to continue into the future. Interestingly, this affects both employers and employees in almost equal measure.


As an employer, you have an obligation to understand these rules and deploy them appropriately to protect your workers. As a worker, you are responsible for complying with regulations and understanding your role in creating a safe work environment for yourself and your peers. But does this mean that your workplace must complete audiometry testing?



Who Needs Audiometry Testing

Every employer will need to consider audiometry testing, at least to the extent that their workers are exposed to noise in the run of a typical day. They must either reduce the noise to below the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) threshold, or develop a hearing conservation program that includes audiometric testing. For more information about OELs, check here.


So, if your workplace is a relatively quiet environment without regular spikes in the noise level, you may not have to worry about audiometry testing. Still, many commercial and industrial companies will have at least some level of noise for their manufacturing or processing equipment. But, when does “some noise” become “too much noise”?


For that, we need two pieces of information. The first is Section 218 and the second is Schedule 3, Table 1, referred to in this section. 


Section 218

An employer must ensure that a worker’s exposure to noise does not exceed 

(a) the noise exposure limits in Schedule 3, Table 1, and

 (b) 85 dBA LexB

Schedule 3, Table 1

Exposure Level (dBA)Exposure Duration
8216 hours
8312 hours and 41 minutes
8410 hours and 4 minutes
858 hours
884 hours
912 hours 
941 hours
9730 minutes
10015 minutes
1038 minutes
1064 minutes
1092 minutes
11256 seconds
115 and greater


Basically, if noise goes above these limits at your workplace, it is time to develop a hearing conservation program and perform audiometry testing for your workers.

audiometry-testing

How to Get Audiometry Testing

We offer mobile audiometry testing throughout Western Canada. Our vehicles are equipped with all the equipment necessary to perform the testing and produce reports stating the results. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.



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.