Imagine that OMY has just administered Audiometric Tests to your staff as part of your larger commitment to workplace safety and zero recordable Standard Threshold Shifts have been detected. This is great news! Congratulations on maintaining a safe work environment for your employees. For large companies, this is certainly no small feat.
When recordable shifts are detected, the lessons are obvious. Employers need to make sure that they provide their employees with the proper protective equipment and also the training to make sure it is being used correctly. Employees need to take stock of their hearing practices on and off of the job. And if the shift is determined to be workplace-related, then it will need to be listed on the company’s OSHA 300 Log, which can result in penalties or affect the company’s insurance rates.
However, many employers and employees accept the clean results – a lack of recordable shifts – and fail to learn lessons from them. As a result, complacency can set in.
For companies that are always looking to improve their performance, here are five ways that they can use positive Audiometric Test results to increase workplace safety.
1. Audiometric Tests can be an early warning system
Not all shifts are recordable. That is, a shift might be detected, but if it doesn’t meet specific criteria, it might not need to be recorded at this time. While it might not be a substantial shift, and it might not even be workplace related in any way, hearing loss is occurring. Thanks to early detection, measures can be taken now to prevent the shift from becoming recordable in the future. These close calls should be a motivating factor for the employer to reevaluate workplace conditions while serving as a warning for the employee to use proper hearing protection on and off the job going forward.
2. Audiometric Tests allow employees to recommit to workplace safety
Even when no recordable Standard Threshold Shifts are detected, Audiometric Tests provide a periodic opportunity for employees to be consciously aware of their hearing and the importance of taking proactive steps to protect it. Each workday brings its own challenges, and due to the passive nature of hearing, it is easy to take it for granted. Audiometric Tests allow employees to reevaluate their hearing practices and recommit to maintaining healthy habits at work and home.
3. Audiometric Tests allow employers to recommit to workplace safety
Accordingly, Audiometric Tests are an excellent opportunity for employers to consciously recommit to providing and maintaining a safe work environment. Safety is always a priority, but the routine safety meetings can become, well, routine. Mobile testing days are an active experience that require employers and employees to take an active role in the safety process.
4. Audiometric Tests are a show of good faith to employees
When no shifts are detected, that’s good news by itself, but it also demonstrates to employees that the company is committed to maintaining a safe work environment and actively detecting and preventing Standard Threshold Shifts before they become problematic. With mobile medical testing, it is possible to conduct multiple tests – or even host an onsite health fair – during the same testing session with minimum disruption to productivity. For example, conducting Vision Tests alongside Audiometric Tests – especially if they are not required for your industry – is a great way for employers to go above and beyond for their employees.
5. Audiometric Tests provide peace-of-mind
Safety requires constant vigilance, but for employers, receiving formal documentation that there are no recordable shifts gives them the confidence that comes from knowing that they are providing a safe work environment. For employees, seeing proof that they are working in a safe environment means they have one less thing to worry about, so they can focus on the task at hand.
A clean safety record as demonstrated by a lack of recordable shifts is certainly something to celebrate. Employers and employees should both be proud of this accomplishment. However, there are still lessons that can be learned, and it is a valuable opportunity for all parties involved to recommit to workplace safety and build upon that success.
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