Hearing Test – Audiometry


To comply with the Noise at Work Regulations 2006 employers must provide health surveillance (Audiometric testing – also known as hearing tests) for all their employees who are likely to be regularly exposed to noise above the upper exposure action values (85dB), or they are at risk for any reason (e.g. they are particularly sensitive to hearing damage or they already suffer from hearing loss).

hearing test, audiometry

Such hearing checks provide warnings of early signs of hearing loss, help check that control measures (e.g. hearing protection) are working and importantly give employers an opportunity to prevent hearing damage from worsening.

Ideally, checks are started before being exposed to noise (e.g. at commencement of employment) to give a baseline. However, they can be introduced at any time and are followed by regular checks thereafter.

Audiometric testing is undertaken to HSE guidance note MS26 and assessments include;

  • Hearing related questionnaire
  • Examination of the ears
  • Computer programmed hearing test
  • Test results are discussed with the employee at the time.
  • Referral for further assessment if necessary
  • Provide management report within 48 hours.
  • Send automatic reminders when tests are due.

Key Benefits

  • On site testing reduces disruption and costs
  • Enables you to comply with the regulations
  • Reduces your risk of being sued for noise induced hearing loss as benchmark results monitor any deterioration.
  • Can reduce your employers liability insurance
  • Identifies high risk factor employees or new employees joining the company with pre-existing conditions.
  • Increases worker awareness of noise and improve attitudes and behaviour.
  • Promotes good employment relations

If a previous test has been carried out, this can be compared against previous figures to determine whether changes have taken place in the intervening time.

Results Categories

The HSE have specified a four part categorisation system. In plain English, they are;

  • Category 1 – good and no problems with hearing
  • Category 2 – just about OK but slightly lower than we would like
  • Category 3 – a loss which is in excess of the normal standard for their age
  • Category 4 – a rapid loss identified by comparing two results

There is also a classification called “unilateral” which is where one ear is performing at a lower level than the other (ears are generally in balance so one weaker one may be a sign of a problem). All results take into account the employee’s age – as we get older hearing deteriorates naturally therefore we take this into account when analysing the results.

Test frequency

The frequency of repeat tests depends on the results of the audiometry.

Generally, everyone should be tested in the first year (“Year 1”) and then again in the following year (“Year 2”). From then on it depends on their result:

  • For those with good hearing (Category 1) – every three years
  • For those with OK hearing (Category 2) – every two years
  • For those with poor hearing (Category 3) – every year
  • For those with a change in hearing (Category 4) – every year

Some companies choose to just do everyone every year or every two years and this is an acceptable approach to take if that is the easiest way to manage it.

What it costs

Depending on the location and the numbers involved, this could be as low as £15.00 per employee.

However, we will provide a fixed price quotation before you make any commitment.

Why Use Us

  • We offer a 24 hour service and test at the time to suit you, including evenings, nights, bank holidays and weekends at no extra cost. Let’s face it, at 2am where would you rather be – tucked up in bed or looking at ear wax?
  • We provide a personal service with one contact for the whole project
  • We provide a clear fixed price quotation so you are in control of costs.
  • We have more than twenty years experience in Occupational Health projects
  • We will give you a complete professional service

We will NOT try to sell you something you don’t need.