Family, friends and colleagues – communication is an irreplaceable aspect of our social life and wellbeing; hearing is vital to good communication.
Companies – the success of your company begins with effective communication; again, hearing is vital to good communication.
Musicians and music lovers – music is your passion and so your hearing is extremely important!
Young people – are the most vulnerable to hearing damage with the technology available today and need early, educated, behavioral intervention.
Medical insurance companies – preventive hearing healthcare is just as important as preventive dental care.
Audiologists – Have your own expertise in-house and become a HearingCoach® agent!
Experience has taught us that merely supplying hearing protection devices (HPD’s) is not enough – we need to ensure behavioural changes as well! The user must know when to use his/her protection and do so correctly. We need to measure and report back on the success of the hearing conservation interventions. HearingCoach® is an organisation of audiologists who focus on the prevention of hearing damage caused by loud music or noise. Incorporating audiologists in the chain lowers the barriers that prevent (early) detection; creates improved awareness of the risks and fosters motivation for protecting one’s hearing, especially young people. They also create the perfect match between preventive and curative care.
Their approach, and techniques used, are scientifically substantiated and recorded in a preventive hearing healthcare program, called the Healthy Hearing Program. This program was lauded by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) as Best Practice (EU-OSHA panel report). Companies, as well as individuals, have access to their audiologists, who are called HearingCoaches®. Healthy Hearing Programs are customised to the needs and objectives of the client.
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:
1: EXPOSURE TO NOISE
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.
2: HEARING ACUITY
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).
3: HEARING PROTECTION
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.
4: INFLUENCING BEHAVIOR
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.
The advantages include inter-alia:
- no superficial measures, but a coherent policy for the long term;
- focus on the retention of healthy hearing (in the interest of the health, safety and wellbeing of the individual);
- all risks, both on the job and off the job, are mapped out;
- measurement and coaching at an individual level and not as part of a group;
- to measure is to know;
- survey into motivation and behaviour (questionnaire);
- ascertaining percentage of hearing damage (OHC scan);
- checking of hearing protection (proper functioning);
- automatic reminder for regular check-ups.
Accredited service provider
Noise Clipper (Pty) Ltd. is an accredited HearingCoach® service provider and will facilitate the customisation and implementation process.