AUDIOMETRIC TESTING (measuring audiometric thresholds at 500 Hz through 8000 Hz): includes on-site otoscopic exam, hearing testing, and consultation with each employee regarding hearing results and change in hearing when compared to baseline audiograms. Included also are test reports with individual audiometric reports, an inactive report, summary reports, statistics, referral lists, and STS, and referral letters to employees. Eight employees are tested every 20 minutes or every 30 minutes with trainingbelow.
In compliance with (WAC 296-817-40015)
HEARING CONSERVATION TRAINING PROGRAM: This training is done in the mobile unit in addition to the hearing testing. Each testing group views a DVD pertinent to hearing conservation prior to taking the hearing test. The technician then reviews additional topics in hearing conservation and answers any questions employees may have. Full documentation with employee signatures for validation of training and a written description of the training program are also provided.
In compliance with (WAC 296-817-20020)
HEARING PROTECTOR FITTING: Phicore assists employers by ensuring the proper initial fit of employee's hearing protection. Each employee is assessed and later fit with hearing protection appropriate for their noise exposure based on their hearing ability, hygiene concerns, and proper use of the hearing protector. Documentation is provided regarding the specific
type of protector recommended and the employee's proficiency in its use. The responsibility of the employer is reduced to the fitting of new hires and supervision of the correct use of hearing protectors throughout the year.
Employee fitting only needs to be done once per employee. After initial onset of the Hearing Conservation Program, fitting would only need to be done on new baseline employees.
In compliance with (WAC 296-817-20015)
NOISE LEVEL SURVEY (NLS): Phicore conducts a NLS using a DT-805 Mini-Pro Type II Sound Level Meter. The information collected would be used to help identify all employees required to be included in the hearing conservation program. The NLS will also identify the areas and equipment that exceed 85 decibels so as to identify hazardous noise areas where it might be mandatory to wear hearing protection. These areas and equipment must be signed showing hearing protection required in that area or when using that specific tool. Full documentation and a report are provided.
In compliance with (WAC 296-817-20005)
DOSIMETRY STUDY: In this method, an employee wears a device that measures the sound exposure over their work shift or portion thereof. The microphone is placed on the shoulder where the greatest amount of noise exposure is expected. At the end of the measurement period information that has been logged is converted to an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA). Time weighted average is another expression of the exposure that is represented in dBA (decibels on the A scale – a scale which most closely represents the way the human ear hears). With this method you can gain information that is most representational of an employee’s daily exposure to noise. By converting to a TWA, an employee’s exposure time, whether it is greater or less than 8 hours, can be compared to the standard, in this case the OHSA/MSHA/WISHA standard of 85 dBA. This will determine relative exposures and aid in determining whether an employee should or should not be required to participate in a hearing conservation program. Full documentation and a report are provided. Observed dosimetry normally is done for lawyers in court cases where the dosimetry information is critical and needs to be unquestionable; our technician stays with the dosimetry subject for the whole duration of their shift observing and noting all activity. Most all others are unobserved using reliable employees whom you believe would not purposely try to falsify their exposure levels. In compliance with (WAC 296-817-20005)
REPORTING: Upon completion of testing, an audiologist reviews the test results and a comprehensive report is generated. This report consists of all employee hearing thresholds, S.T.S. notification letters, medical referral letters, hearing conservation training records, statistical data, employee hearing testing form, calibration certificates of the audiometers, and technician certifications. This electronic file in Adobe .pdf format shall be kept by the employer as stated for reference and compliance with OSHA/MSHA/WISHA guidelines for record keeping. The data, which is maintained by Phicore, provided in an Adobe .pdf file, will be made accessible on Phicore’s secure website for retrieval by authorized personnel designated by each company (coming soon!). As an added benefit to having the results stored in our database, Phicore will provide a copy of the report on CD-ROM. If a company loses their report, an exact copy can be created for a minimal cost. Phicore retains and stores all our records indefinitely on a back up hard drive as well as media stored off site for safety.