If the preventive hearing scan shows that the extent of the hearing damage is worse than expected, or has increased dramatically compared to the previous scan, it is prudent to initiate a hearing conservation program. The Healthy Hearing Program would ensure regular assessments and one would be professionally guided (coached) to prevent further hearing damage. The power of the Healthy Hearing Program lies in that all the factors that play a role are systematically mapped out:
Each employee's exposure to noise, both at work and during leisure time, is mapped out by means of a questionnaire and sound measurement data. A personal risk profile is then created from that information in line with ISO 1999, which shows the employee his or her hearing acuity forecast up to the age of 65. This is important as part of the awareness process and is used for positive behaviour modification.
We perform a preventive hearing scan as standard procedure. This involves the examination in turn of the external ear (otoscopy), the middle ear (tympanometry) and the inner ear (Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs). This enables us to eliminate other factors that may affect the result i.e. cerumen, otitis media etc.
We use an application to interpret the OAE measurements for us; the extent of the hearing damage is expressed as a percentage and is graphically represented. With repeat measurements, this will then clearly indicate changes from one test to the next. The OHC scan makes it easy to explain the importance of wearing sound hearing protectors that are regularly inspected to people who are susceptible to hearing damage (positive behavior modification). The OHC scan is the perfect indicator (impact evaluation system) for measuring the effectiveness of the hearing conservation policy that is in place. The OHC scan application makes the OAE technique accessible and widely applicable (young people and company healthcare).
When the source of the noise cannot (adequately) be addressed, the person must be directly protected by means of hearing protectors. Practice has shown that personal hearing protectors are seldom worn and often neglected. In addition to selecting the correct type of hearing protection, we focus in particular on consistent use and regular inspection for proper functioning. This increases return on investment (ROI) and we also ensure that good, healthy hearing is protected.
The impact made by individual coaching is far greater than any other kind of training or guidance. During the individual coaching session the employee gets to understand exactly what his or her risk is (see exposure to noise), how good or bad his or her hearing is (see hearing acuity), whether his or her hearing protectors are working properly (see hearing protection) and he or she also receives recommendations that can be applied at home and at work.