Hearing Conservation Program Assessment

 

 

Assessing and Improving Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention Programs

Welcome to the Website for Hearing Conservation Program Effectiveness! Here you will find tools and ideas for improving your hearing conservation program and making it more effective.

Self-assessment Tool:

This short assessment tool evaluates your program according to OSHA compliance, as well as Best Practices. This assessment can be used by itself, or in conjunction with a tool for surveying employees on their perceptions of, and experience with, the hearing conservation program.

Cost Calculator Tool:

In assessing a hearing conservation program, it is important for program managers to assess the costs as well as the process components of their program. What are the biggest program costs? What are the hidden costs of the program? How much is the facility actually spending in total on hearing conservation? Try the hearing conservation cost calculator to assess your program and explore these issues!

Great! You have chosen to perform an assessment of the quality and effectiveness of your hearing conservation program.

There are two options for assessing your hearing program:

  1. The standard assessment tool, which only rates management responses.
  2. The employee survey data plus the standard assessment tool, which allows for a greater understanding of what is really happening in your company.

 

Standard Assessment

Without survey data from your employees, this standard program assessment, you can answer some questions about different aspects of the program without data from your employees. The assessment tool will then give you a report about whether your program appears to be OSHA compliant, and also how your program rates according to expert opinion about certain "best practices" for hearing conservation.

This 34-question assessment tool takes roughly 20 minutes to complete. The tool does not save your information, so it is not possible to return later to complete the questions. Download the pdf here to view the questions before inputting your data. You will have the opportunity to print your score at the end of the assessment process.

Use the link below to start the assessment without the employee survey data.

Best and Preferred Assessment

Our research has found that while the information that management can supply about a program can be very helpful in identifying areas for improvement, the most important factor actually predicting worker hearing loss is likely to be the perceptions of workers about the program.

In this preferred way of assessing your program, you will be asked to conduct an anonymous survey to all your employees and to include their responses with your responses to the standard assessment tool (see column on left for information about the tool). You will receive a report about whether your program appears to be OSHA compliant, how your program rates according to expert opinion about certain "best practices" for hearing conservation, as well as receive a measurement of how much hearing loss you can expect in your employees in the next five years!

Directions for conducting employee survey

PDF of Employee Survey***

Excel Sheet to input results and generate data for Assessment Tool

***For better results on your hearing program assessment, we recommend conducting the employee survey.


Once you have the employee data results, use the link below to start the assessment.

Please enter percentages between 0 and 100 in each of the boxes

Results from Employee Surveys

Look at the results from the "Totals" tab of the spreadsheet that you downloaded with the survey, and copy over the values from the following cells:

Cell B8:
Cell D8:
Cell I8:
Cell N8:
Cell T8:
Cell AA8:
Cell AH8:
Cell AK8:

Best Practice and Standards

This page asks about program efforts that exceed compliance requirements.

1.) What percentage of noise control opportunities identified in the past year have been implemented?
2.) What percentage of process, equipment, and work activity changes in the past year triggered noise exposure measurements within one month of the change?
3.) When your employees take the training post-test, what percentage score greater than 90%?
4.) What percent of noise-exposed workers receive one-on-one instruction to optimize selection and fit of HPDs at job entry?
5.) During a typical plant walk-through, what percent of plant personnel are using hearing protection in required areas?
6.) What percent of audiometric technicians are CAOHC certified?
7.) During the last year of testing, what percentage of employees with a threshold shift had a repeat test within 30 days to confirm?
8.) Among your noise-exposed employees tested last year, what was your rate of confirmed recordable hearing shifts?

Training and Education

This section asks about program activities that focus on educating workers with regards to hearing conservation.

9.) Has a training program been instituted for all employees in the hearing conservation program?
10.) Is the training done annually?
11.) Does the training include information on the effects of noise on hearing?
12.) Does your baseline and annual training include information on the purpose, advantages and disadvantages of hearing protectors?
13.) Does the training include instruction on selection, fitting and care of hearing protectors?
14.) Does the training include information on the purpose of audiometric testing and an explanation of test procedures?

Noise Assessment and Control

This section asks about your efforts to measure and reduce noise in the workplace.

15.) Have all work areas been evaluated to determine if noise monitoring is warranted?
16.) Have sound level measurements been taken in areas suspected of having noise levels that exceed those specified in OSHA Table G-16?
17.) Has a noise monitoring program been developed and implemented?
18.) Has 8-hour noise monitoring been done of employees performing jobs in noisy areas or working with loud equipment to identify which employees to include in a hearing conservation program?
19.) Is noise monitoring repeated when there is a change in equipment or controls?
20.) Are employees notified of the results of the noise monitoring?

Audiometric Testing

This section asks about your hearing testing program.

21.) Is audiometric testing provided, at no cost, to all employees whose exposure is equal to or exceeds an 8-hour time weighted average of 85 dba?
22.) Are baseline audiograms given within 6 months of an employee’s first exposure to noise levels equal or exceeding the action level?
23.) Are annual audiograms provided to employees in the hearing conservation program?
24.) Are audiograms administered, reviewed and evaluated by competent trained personnel?
25.) Are annual audiograms compared to the baseline to determine if a standard threshold shift has occurred in an employee’s hearing?
26.) Are problem audiograms reviewed by an audiologist, otolarynologist or physician to determine if further action is necessary?

Hearing Protection Devices

This section asks about the use of earplugs and earmuffs by your workers.

27.) Has proper hearing protection been identified and provided at no cost to the employees?
28.) Does the supervisor ensure that proper hearing protectors are worn by the affected employees?
29.) Is a variety of protectors provided for the employees to choose?
30.) Have the employees been trained in the proper use and care of the protectors?

Administrative

This section asks about how hearing data is collected and maintained.

31.) Is a copy of the OSHA noise standard posted in the workplace?

Record Keeping

This section asks about how hearing data is collected and maintained.

32.) Is a copy of all noise exposure measurements retained for two years?
33.) Are audiometric test records retained for the duration of the affected employee’s employment plus thirty years?
34.) Are all records relating to an employees noise exposure provided to that employee or employee representative upon request?

Is your program OSHA Compliant?

 
 
 
 

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The Assessment of Hearing Conservation Program Effectiveness program is a joint project of the University of Washington, University of Michigan, and Yale University. This project was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, grant NIOSH 5 RO1 OH010132