Diagnose hearing problems and recommend solutions in industrial locations.
What does an Industrial Audiologist do?
The Marble Cutter stands on the factory floor all day long, cutting large slabs of marble into beautiful shapes. The marble screeches and screams as the blade digs in, and after a while, that screeching is all the Marble Cutter can hear. An Industrial Audiologist works hard to design programs that prevent this sort of hearing loss.
An Acoustic Engineer measures the levels of noise that workers are exposed to each day. Armed with this information, the Industrial Audiologist determines which employees are most at risk for hearing loss, and what sorts of tests to use to spot hearing loss in vulnerable employees.
When you’re an Industrial Audiologist and an employee comes to you for testing, you place headphones over their ears and play a series of tones. The person lifts a finger when the tone is played, and you mark the response. Sometimes, you whisper words or phrases into the headphones, and ask the person to repeat the words.
This may be the only time an Industrial Audiologist whispers at work. Normally, hearing-impaired people ask you to shout out your commands and recommendations.
If you spot hearing loss in multiple employees, you develop a plan to reduce the hazards. You might suggest different types of hearing protection, for example, or you might recommend encasing some equipment in sound-protective coverings.
Periodically, you return to the site to make sure your plans are being followed, and you reexamine employees to make sure their hearing loss isn’t progressing. Employees with severe hearing loss may benefit from hearing aids, and it’s also your job as an Industrial Audiologist to discuss the options with them. If an employee wants a hearing aid, you order the device and teach the person to use it properly.