The Audiometric Program assists in the early detection and prevention of occupational hearing loss.
The University of Calgary is committed to promoting the health of faculty and staff with comprehensive health surveillance programs. Noise-induced hearing loss is a preventable hearing disorder. Some work areas and work activities at UCalgary have been identified as having noise exposure levels that are high enough to require the use of hearing protective devices to prevent noise induced hearing loss.
The Audiometric Program is made possible through effective communication and collaboration between Environment, Health and Safety and Staff Wellness. The program is a legislative requirement under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety code and all parties have an obligation to meet their responsibilities under this program.
Hearing testing is a legal requirement of the employer and employee under the Occupational Health and Safety Code of Alberta. If a worker is exposed to high levels of noise, they may be susceptible to permanent hearing loss. Hearing tests can help to detect prevent hearing loss early.
Repeat hearing tests (usually every one to two years) help to detect changes in how you hear. If there is a significant change from one hearing test to the next then investigation into the cause of the change (including evaluation of noise control strategies in the work area) should be conducted to prevent further loss.
There are many reasons for why a person may suffer hearing loss, such as, previous illness, certain medications, exposure to chemicals, recreational noise, etc. The questionnaire helps to determine contributing causes to hearing loss. Like your hearing test, the questionnaire is stored confidentially and not shared with your supervisor.
Your test results will go to the Occupational Health Nurse at the Staff Wellness Center. The Nurse will review the results and consult the Occupational Health Physician if any abnormal results of the hearing test are detected. The tests are stored confidentially and used to compare subsequent test results to identify any changes in hearing over time.
If your work exposes you to noise levels above the occupational exposure limit (OEL) in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety code, then you meet the criteria for hearing testing.
If the work that you and/or your employees perform exposes them to noise above the OEL, then the criteria for hearing testing is met.
You can consult your Environment, Health and Safety department advisor to arrange for an assessment the noise levels in your work area.
The Occupational Health Nurse will contact you for a follow up appointment to review the results and recommended follow up. You may be referred to a hearing specialist for further assessment. Noise related protective measures will be also reviewed during this appointment.
No, individual results are not disclosed to your supervisor. Statistical information for an entire department may be shared to identify problems or improvements in the noise control strategies used in the workplace. Individualized information is not included in the data.