Annual hearing testing
Hearing tests are an important part of a hearing loss prevention program. Here you'll find hearing test information for employers, workers, and hearing test providers.
If your workers are exposed to noise greater than 85 dBA Lex (a full shift averaged exposure), you must provide them with all elements of the hearing loss prevention program, including annual hearing testing.
Providing hearing testing
There are two main ways to provide hearing testing for workers:
An employer can set up an in-house testing facility at the worksite. The facility would include a hearing test booth with the required equipment, and at least one technician who has completed the industrial audiometric technician program at B.C. Institute of Technology.
In-house testing can be beneficial for large businesses because:
- It is easier to schedule tests
- The technician is familiar with the site, policies, and equipment
- Employees can be retested quickly and easily
This option may be difficult for small businesses because of the costs involved. For them, a neighbouring firm's in-house facility, or hiring an industrial audiometric business, may be easier.
Industrial audiometric business
Employers can hire an industrial audiometric testing business (IAB) to perform the required hearing tests. Many businesses have mobile facilities that can perform the tests on jobsites. All industrial audiometric businesses must be approved by WorkSafeBC. Please check our list of authorized industrial audiometric businesses.
Getting test results
Your employee hearing test report is available online for you to review and download through your secure online services account. You can view the test results as soon as they’ve been submitted to WorkSafeBC.
If you work in an environment with hazardous levels of noise (more than 85 dB averaged over an eight-hour shift), your employer is required to have your hearing tested each year. The employer pays for the testing.
After your hearing test, the technician will discuss the results with you and suggest any necessary follow-up. The technician can also recommend the best hearing protection for you to use.
Reporting hearing loss
If you have occupation-related hearing loss, you should tell your employer and seek medical treatment if required. You should also file a claim with us. Learn how workers report an injury or illness.
Tracking your hearing test results
Your employer may keep a copy of your test results or access them online. You should keep a record as well, especially if you may change jobs in the next year. The information is important as allows the technician at your next test to compare results from year to year to look for noise-related changes in your hearing.
If you have worked and had a hearing test in B.C. anytime since 1978, you may be able to get a copy of your past test results from us. To get a copy, please complete and submit a letter of authorization.
Hearing test cards for construction workers
If you work in construction, you need to carry your hearing card test with you. This is because workers tend to move between employers more often in construction than in other industries. If you don't carry your hearing test card, you will have to go back to former employers to get the information.
Get certified in B.C.: Becoming an industrial audiometric technician (IAT)
To become a certified IAT you must:
- Complete the Industrial Audiometric Technician Training Course from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
- Be hired by a) an employer under WorkSafeBC's jurisdiction with a hearing conservation program, b) an authorized industrial audiometric business (IAB), or c) own an authorized IAB.
- Submit a completed Application for Authorization to Conduct Hearing Tests Under Occupational Health & Safety Regulation 7.8 (form 51M13).
To maintain your Industrial Audiometric Technician (IAT) certification, you must:
- Take a one-day refresher course available through BCIT within one year following your initial training course.
- Every two years thereafter, take the one-day refresher course through BCIT.
- Once you've successfully completed the refresher course, you must submit a completed Application for Authorization to Conduct Hearing Tests Under Occupational Health & Safety Regulation 7.8 (form 51M13).
Becoming an industrial audiometric business (IAB)
To become an authorized industrial audiometric business you must:
- Complete the Industrial Audiometric Technician Training course from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) or hire someone who has successfully completed the course and obtained certification.
- Have an approved industrial audiometric facility that complies with all of WorkSafeBC’s requirements, whether a mobile van or fixed office facility.
- If you wish to test workers in the construction industry you must also sign a contract (sample) with WorkSafeBC prior to providing hearing tests. For more information please see Industrial Audiometric Technicians (IATs) and Hearing Tests for the Construction Industry.
Once you have become an authorized IAB you can have your business posted on WorkSafeBC's authorized industrial audiometric business list.
Record and submit tests to WorkSafeBC
It is the Industrial Audiometric Businesses’ responsibility to submit tests to WorkSafeBC. All industrial audiometric hearing test results are submitted through the Industrial Audiometric System (IAS), through our secured online services.
For more assistance on submitting hearing test results please see Industrial Audiometric Tests: Submitting Tests to WorkSafeBC.
If you are an industrial audiometric business and are logging in to the IAS for the first time as an administrator, please call Industrial Audiometric Support at 604.276.3231 or toll-free at 1.844.676.3231 and identify yourself as a new industrial audiometric business.