Non-attendance at a scheduled audiometry session
Despite an employer’s best efforts, inevitably some staff don’t attend a planned audiometry session, either because they were on holiday, off sick or another reason such as a crisis at work which had to take precedence.
The ways to manage this are similar to that for new starters, and it pretty much depends on how good the site is at controlling risks via things like hearing protection.
As a couple of side issues:
Employees cannot choose to not attend their audiometry appointment just because that’s what they want to do. The Noise Regs make attendance at scheduled audiometry compulsory for employees, providing it is taking place within work hours. There is a separate post in this FAQ dealing with that.
If the employer arranges for a follow-up or second audiometry test, they cannot charge the employee for it, or cause the employee to incur costs for it, and that follow-up test should still be in work hours.
So what are the options to get the hearing test done?
Option 1 - Don’t worry about it
If your control of noise risk is good and all staff are wearing hearing protection which has been assessed as suitable for the noise risks present, and it’s use is monitored and enforced, and it’s compliance is good, then there practically is very little risk for that person who was missed. Being sensible about it, that means there is no problem leaving it until the next scheduled audiometry session but the employer must ensure they attend that one and don’t become repeat non-attendees.
This is particularly pragmatic if you already have tested this person/people in the past and the results were fine, so you already have baseline data.
Option 2 - Get a test done on the high street and send us the result
You can send them to their GP for a hearing test but bear in mind not all GP surgeries have audiometry equipment. Probably better is to send them to somewhere like a high street Specsavers or Boots and get a hearing test done there. That should be in work time and the employer will need to pay for it directly or reimburse the employee. Make sure the test involves giving the employee a copy of their results. Then, for all existing clients, if you wish you can then email a copy of that to us. We will have a quick look at it and confirm all is OK, then add it to the historical records for reference in future tests.
For existing clients only, we do not charge for that providing it is no more than half a dozen or so through the year.
Option 3 - We will do it ‘when passing’
We can add it to a ‘to do when passing’ list we maintain and pop in and do them when we are next in the area. The benefit is that we can do it much more cheaply that way, so no day-rate and we charge a flat £25 per test, but the down-side is that we have no control over when that will be. It could be quick or it could be a few months down the line. We have a limit of five to six people for this as anything more is turning into a few hours on site rather than a quick catch-up.
Option 4 - Book a catch-up session
If you have a few more non-attendees then we can come and do a second session for you, for example six months after the first. This is practicable for medium and larger employers but can be prohibitive cost-wise for smaller ones. It does mean new starters can be caught with a hearing test as well though. We are happy to quote.
Our ideal-world recommendation for small employers is 1 or 3 - i.e. have the solid controls on use of hearing protection in place so there is pretty much no risk, or get us to do it when passing.
If hearing protection use is a bit more patchy and you cannot rule out ongoing losses, then use either 2 or 4.
For medium or larger companies, a specific catch-up booked session is best so give us a shout and we can always do a session say six months after the first to catch people who were no-shows and also any new starters.