FAQs

General

Can I Try WorkScreen?

Yes, sure. Contact us here and we’ll get right back to you to get things moving.

How Do I Get WorkScreen?

WorkScreen is a service, arranged by renting the handset to conduct the number of tests you need. This tends to be best for smaller organisations. Renting is short-term, quick and easy.

You can also licence WorkScreen handsets for a longer period of time, so that you always have one at hand to test your staff. This suits larger organisations who need a permanent solution.

You can also licence our technology to integrate it into your occupational health systems. This may be the most appropriate solution for organisations or healthcare providers with a lot of occupational health gear and systems in place already.

You can trial WorkScreen or ask for our pricing structure by contacting us.

Who Created WorkScreen?

WorkScreen was been created in the UK by team with over 100 yrs of experience in audiology and acoustics in the NHS, audiology supply and private hearing healthcare practice, driven byIn a nutshell, while risks and opportunity for harm due to noise are probably increasing, preventative technology and awareness was not moving at its potential in the real world. So we did something about it. a shared frustration that preventative hearing care was not keeping pace with society’s needs – or the opportunities presented by new technology. Armed with a mandate for action, they created a solution that is effective and simple to use, so that everyone who needs a hearing test can have one. WorkScreen’s operational management team have over 30 years of experience and remain driven by the same values.

What is hearing "surveillance"?

Surveillance Audiometry and Hearing Surveillance (for the purposes of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) at work) basically means a hearing test – plus appropriate reporting. Note that an “HSE hearing test” or Surveillance Audiometry is not the same thing as a “clinical hearing test” from a doctor or audiologist.

The HSE defines surveillance in L108 as “a programme of systematic health checks to identify early signs and symptoms of work-related ill health and to allow action to be taken to prevent its progression.”(pp27) “Suitable health surveillance usually means regular hearing checks (audiometric testing).” (pp27)

  •  Surveillance is a system of activities and policies
  • A surveillance system “requires a designated person placed in charge” (pp109)
  •  The audiometric testing process is one part of the surveillance programme

The pp numbers above refer to the HSE quick guide to noise at work

What is an occupational/industrial hearing test?

Occupational audiometry is a system to detect and manage Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

It is important to note occupational audiometry is a screening procedure: it identifies whether something may need investigating, but not the cause. The cause of the issue is investigated via diagnostic tests for those people who are referred onwards from screening.

The HSE says:
“Occupational audiometry is a surveillance technique used to detect early damage to hearing resulting from exposure to noise. Identifying any damage allows appropriate follow-up remedial action in the workplace and any necessary medical referral of the individual.” (pp109) “Audiometry is not, in itself, a diagnostic technique,….” (pp109)

  •  The objective of audiometric testing at work is to screen workers for hearing damage due to noise – NIHL.
  • WorkScreen is independently assessed and calibrated as a screening device for occupational hearing tests.
  • WorkScreen complies with BS 60645-1-2001 using RETSPLs from BS EN 389-8:2004 & BS EN ISO 8253-1-2010.

The pp numbers above refer to the HSE quick guide to noise at work

Why does self testing work?

WorkScreen is a world-leader in no-contact self testing. By automating the hearing test and using e-health technology, we can deliver quality hearing tests repeatably, at any time of day, and ensure we have the correct level of human oversight. Our tests are interpedently certified to follow the required procedure and to be accurate, which means people using WorkScreen can be confident that they have access to the hearing check they need.

In the broader sense – i.e. hearing education and conservation – by allowing workers to take a hearing test at their convenience and without the perceived pressure of a “medical professional in the room”, WorkScreen clients report high engagement and buy-in to the hearing surveillance program.

Who uses WorkScreen?

WorkScreen is used extensively for Occupational Health by companies of all sizes, type and location. We test staff in drilling, manufacturing, printing, logistics, bottling, engineering, food production, arboriculture, managed services, shooting, consultancy, call-centres and more. Our smallest customer is for 1 test per year. Our largest conducts many thousands.

The common theme among WorkScreen clients is that they need an easier, faster, simpler route to doing hearing tests at work.

What is dangerous noise?

Dangerous noise can be a slippery topic, since it relates to the intensity of the noise (volume) and the duration of exposure. So a quieter noise over a longer period could expose someone to a higher noise dose than slightly louder noise over a shorter time. This means 2 things:
If you can reduce the noise level or length of time you spend in noise, then you should.

What are UK regulations NAW act?

The noise at work regulations 2005 say that – concerning hearing surveillance.

How long does a test take?

The WorkScreen test takes around 20 minutes and is in 2 parts:

Part 1 – questionnaire: WorkScreen asks a number of simple questions (required by HSE guidelines) about your work, hobbies, hearing health and noise exposure. These questions configure the rest of the test and help our hearing care experts support you, in case there is a need for referral. Please provide as much or as little information as feels comfortable. Personalised information is only held to inform your WorkScreen test.

Part 2 – test: WorkScreen presents a number of tones at different volumes and frequencies. All you have to do is press the on-screen button when you hear a tone. There are 5 frequencies at each ear – 10 steps in all.

Hearing Questions

What is a hearing loss?

Surprisingly, defining a hearing loss can mean an variety of things. The World Health Organization says simply that “A person is said to have hearing loss if they are not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing,”

See more

Technically speaking a hearing loss is defined by the British Society of Audiology (www.thebsa.org.uk) as a hearing threshold (measured at a hearing test) of 20dB or worse.

In the real world, this means that if you are likely to need to hear sounds 20dB louder than someone with normal hearing

What is the delivery charge?

Hearing loss is generally described in terms of the severity of loss, as well as the physiological cause of the hearing problem and the frequency that exhibits the loss, since hearing may be healthier at some frequencies than others.

Mild hearing loss: is a loss of 20 – 40dB. This may mean listening to speech is harder in social or noisy places

Moderate hearing loss: is a loss between 41 – 70dB. Speech is usually difficult to hear – particularly if you can’t see the person talking

Severe hearing loss: is a loss between 71 – 95dB. This means you will have problems hearing other people without a hearing aid

Profound hearing loss: is a loss over 95dB. (you may have need of hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language and lip-reading)

In addition, hearing losses are classified as sensorineural or conductive:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) results from damage to the nerves and sound processing done in the inner ear. Causes of sensorineural hearing loss can be age, noise and diseases.
  • A conductive hearing loss is when the bones and physical structures of the ear become damaged, which stop sound from the external and middle ear into the inner ear.
What is NIHL?

Noise Induced Hearing Loss is hearing damage caused by exposure to noise. This means that the louder the noise and the longer the time in noise, the greater the hearing damage. HIHL is a sensorineural hearing loss and is irreversible. Tinnitus is often also associated with NIHL.

What are the options?

Hearing loss is irreversible. The most effective option is to limit and minimise your exposure to noise. If you are exposed to noise, then wear hearing protection and have your hearing tested. Under UK Law, Hearing Surveillance & hearing tests – like the WorkScreen service – MUST be provided by employers to workers who are exposed to noise. If you regularly wear hearing protection at work, then it is probable that your employer should also arrange to have your hearing tested.

How to use?

The WorkScreen handset has been designed to be simple to use and has proven itself to conduct tests for thousands of people. Users simply touch the touchscreen to start the test and respond to tones when they hear them through the calibrated earphones. Individual results are presented immediately.

What is “compliance”?

Compliance is following and acting upon your duties. In the case of noise at work, all organisations (with a few exceptions) must comply with the Noise at Work Regulations, 2005

What is screening?

Screening is a generic term used to describe a test that separates people without a condition from everyone else. Screening is the first stage in many healthcare pathways because it makes it easier to provide care to people who have or may have a problem, (rather than providing extra care to people who don’t need it and won’t benefit from it).

This means that anyone who is referred by a screening test should have a further set of tests – typically diagnostic tests – to understand what caused the referral. Sometimes – because a diagnostic test is more complex than the quick and simple screening test – diagnostic tests show that there is nothing wrong.

In general, screening should be able to tell you if you are definitely OK. If there is a reason to find out more information, then a referral should provide the insight.

Do I need to do Otoscopy or check users’ ears before testing?

No.

Otoscopy is commonly included as part of hearing surveillance programs, but it is not required under the UK Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Otoscopy is a valuable part of an ear examination, but it does not inform whether a patient experiences noise induced hearing loss or to what extent their hearing is affected by the work they do.

Otoscopy is an essential part of diagnostic hearing tests used to follow up a referral from a screening, since earwax or other condition may explain a referral. A worker who is referred by WorkScreen hearing screening will ALWAYS receive an ear inspection as a key part of the diagnostic process.

However, as with traditional industrial audiometers, WorkScreen users can arrange their own otoscopic examinations before testing if this is part of their procedures.

Technical

What are WorkScreen Specifications?

The WorkScreen system comprises the calibrated WorkScreen handset which is used to access the WorkScreen hearing test.

• CE certified
• Calibrated Audiometer to BS 60645-1
• Screening test follows BS EN ISO 8253-1
• 250Hz – 8kHz range
• Instant HSE hearing categorisation & report
• 100dB max output
• User history questionnaire
• Instant HSE hearing categorisation & report
• Secure integration to any IT infrastructure
• Full audit trail for every test
• Optional user database
• Secure data storage in UK
• Patented, UK technology
• Validated by UK university

Handset:
• 10.1” touchscreen tablet
• Acoustically CE attenuating earphones
• 31dB SNR
• Power – 5V, via 240V adapter
• Weight – 4.8kg
• Size – 300mm x 180mm x 450mm

Does WorkScreen need PAT testing?

• Every handset is checked on dispatch from WorkScreen HQ for functionality and visually as part of the daily check routine.
• If required, WorkScreen clients may also PAT test their handset’s charger to meet their policies and procedures.
• This complies with legal requirements and the HSE’s guidance that PAT testing is not a requirement:

The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. It does not say how this should be done or how often. Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for. If it is used regularly and moved a lot eg a floor cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties. HSE provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT. PAT (Portable appliance testing) – HSE’s answers to popular questions

Is WorkScreen compatible with Otoscopy?

Yes. The employer/designated person in charge of hearing tests at work may make provision for otoscopy in line with their policies or surveillance system, in addition to the WorkScreen test.

Using Workscreen

Can I Use WorkScreen for General Hearing Tests?

WorkScreen produces a highly accurate Air Conduction (“AC”) audiogram designed to check for Noise Induced Hearing Loss, according to the HSE’s NIHL categorisation algorithms.

Whilst the WorkScreen audiogram is a useful indication of general hearing health, our reports are specifically orientated towards addressing noise at work and the Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Occupational hearing tests and surveillance audiometry is different from a “clinical” hearing test and report that you may receive from a doctor or audiologist.

Surveillance audiometry by WorkScreen is therefore NOT appropriate for prescribing hearing aids or other hearing related services without further assessment by an appropriately trained individual and diagnostic hearing tests.

Is it Possible to Cheat WorkScreen Hearing Tests?

WorkScreen automatically detects and reports false results. It does this by detecting when certain randomised test parameters are violated. Persistent false responses trigger warning messages and are logged for presentation to the WorkScreen audiology team, which means that there is no benefit to cheating the test, since a retest or referral are the inevitable consequences.

Who can use WorkScreen?

Pretty much anyone can create an accurate, high quality audiogram for themselves with WorkScreen.

WorkScreen is designed and automated so that anyone who can use a tablet or smartphone can conduct an effective, accurate hearing test on themselves to HSE recommended standards, meeting the relevant ISO standards.
Users require no special training or skills to operate WorkScreen.

How do I clean WorkScreen?

WorkScreen is based around a tablet PC – which makes it simpler to keep clean than other audiometers. By doing away with the traditional “patient response button” – which the user would hold in their hand for the duration of the test – WorkScreen has removed a key site of potential cross-infection.

Who "administers" WorkScreen Hearing Tests?

WorkScreen administers every test.

WorkScreen tests are administered by the qualified audiological team who designed and oversee the operation of the system.

Unlike traditional industrial audiometry, which is administered by an on-site technician, WorkScreen uses a fully automated test regime to conduct each test. This means every test meets the ISO hearing screening standards required for occupational hearing tests consistently and reliably (with a full audit trail).

Equally importantly, WorkScreen hearing tests cannot be influenced, controlled or adjusted from the handset by an operator or user, which means that by using WorkScreen, any user can conduct a high quality, accurate hearing test, irrespective of their audiological training or experience.

At the end of every test, WorkScreen produces an individual test report for the user.

How do I use workscreen?

How to use

The WorkScreen handset has been designed to be simple to use and has proven itself to conduct tests for thousands of people. Users simply touch the touchscreen to start the test and respond to tones when they hear them through the calibrated earphones. Individual results are presented immediately.

Why audiometry is best?

Do I need training?

You don‘t need specific audiology training or healthcare training to use WorkScreen effectively, however, as with all technical hardware, there are a few basic instructions that should be followed.

Can I use with sound proof booth?

WorkScreen is fully compatible with soundproof booths or audiological noise attenuating cabins. However, these a booths is not essential for effective hearing screening or surveillance tests. Because WorkSceen is wireless and rechargeable, it is easy to integrate into any booth or clinic space without installing any wiring etc.

Do any earphones work?

No. WorkScreen earphones have been selected for their performance characteristics, as well as comfort and sound attenuation around the ear, where they provide around 10dB of noise reduction compared to traditional earphones. We calibrate each earphone/tablet set together to make a WorkScreen handset.

Can I use my own tablet?

WorkScreen is currently offered only through our tablet handsets. However, our technology is adaptable and may be integrated with other hardware solutions.

Do I need to be an IT specialist to use WorkScreen?

You don‘t need specific IT training or experience to use WorkScreen effectively.

However, as with all technical hardware, there are a few basic instructions that should be followed. It will be beneficial if you have a basic understanding of using a PC or tablet.

Do I need special training?

You don‘t need specific IT training or experience to use WorkScreen effectively.
However, as with all technical hardware, there are a few basic instructions that should be followed. It will be beneficial if you have a basic understanding of using a PC or tablet.

Do I need special training?

You don‘t need specific IT training or experience to use WorkScreen effectively.
However, as with all technical hardware, there are a few basic instructions that should be followed. It will be beneficial if you have a basic understanding of using a PC or tablet.

What if there is no HSE category on my hearing report?

If there have not been enough tone responses, categorisation is impossible. Likewise, some users of the test are not catered for by the original HSE reference information used to categorise hearing (e.g. you are older than the age cut-off used in the HSE data). Again, categorisation is impossible.

In these cases, WorkScreen’s experienced audiology team personally review your results and create your report.

What do my results mean?

WorkScreen categorises every hearing test according to the HSE hearing categorisations scheme, reproduced below.
Your hearing category gives an indication of your hearing ability compared to people of a similar age and sex, for the purposes of understanding your potential Noise Induced Hearing Loss. However, because hearing loss can also be caused by other factors (e.g. age), category 1 hearing does not necessarily indicate you do not have a hearing loss. For this reason, your WorkScreen report includes your audiogram and will advise whether you need to consider your hearing ability due to other causes.

What does 0dB mean on an audiogram?

0dB does not mean there is no sound!

0dB is an average “lowest discernable noise” derived from hearing test data collected from many people. It is a standard, which means that all 0dB is the same for all calibrated audiometers like WorkScreen.

However, in common with all averages, some people are naturally better than average and some are naturally a bit worse than average. For this reason, it is possible for a person to record a “negative” hearing loss.

How often should I retest?

The HSE surveillance audiometry guidelines are to baseline staff initially, then annually for 2 further years and then every 3 years, except where it is appropriate to test more often, (e.g. current hearing loss/ medical history; high noise levels/exposure at work; leisure activities).

WorkScreen, therefore, recommends annual testing. This serves to ensure and simplify compliance, particularly for staff with Category, 2, 3 & 4 results, or staff who are exposed to high levels of noise or consistent noise, since they are at higher risk. A majority of WorkScreen clients accept this simpler route to compliance, which also makes their system more robust in the case of gaps in testing due to unforeseen situations (e.g. Covid disruptions)

Downloads

WorkScreen Specification

Handset Cleaning Guidelines

Handset Cleaning: User Checklist & Log

Handset User Rules & Hygiene

Costs

What are your terms and conditions?

There are a couple of things to get straight before we start:

Rental: Generally, we price our work per test – this is because WorkScreen provides a hearing test service on a per-person basis. Unlike other suppliers who charge per test or for the time taken, WorkScreen is simply about the number of tests we conduct. The WorkScreen handset that you see on our website is a necessary component required to deliver accurate, calibrated hearing tests. This means WorkScreen clients do not have to worry about buying a piece of technical hardware, with all of the integration and training issues, and can focus on testing instead.

We have a standard pricelist, where the price per test reduces with the more tests conducted. For most customers, the only extra cost is shipping the handset to you and collecting it from you. Exceptionally, you may select other services, such as tests in a foreign language or extended test times, but that is your choice. For a quote or to explore your needs, please contact us.

“Purchase”: Some clients like the idea of buying WorkScreen. Often rental is actually less hassle and is easier, and can be backed up with a contract or multi-year contracted savings. Other clients need the flexibility of keeping a WorkScreen handset on site (e.g. many new starters or very complex shift patterns). Again, the key ingredient is the number of staff, as well as the number of handsets required. Once we have established this – however loosely – we can agree how to licence WorkScreen to you. The handset forms part of this licence.

For a quote or to explore your needs, please contact us.

Regulations, PPE & hearing protection

PPE and hearing protection: does providing hearing protection comply with the Law?

Yes and No – Hearing protection is an essential part of managing the risk of noise at work, but on its own, hearing protection may not meet company obligations under the Noise
at Work Act.

It is more than likely that staff regularly using hearing protection (earplugs etc) are exposed to dangerous noise and therefore – according the L108
Guidelines on Controlling Noise at Work”, published by the HSE – workers should ALSO be provided with:
1. Regular hearing tests
2. Appropriate training and information
i.e. issuing hearing protection at work is not – on its own – enough to comply with legal requirements. 

Don't just take our word for it...

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“This is a cost-effective, flexible and efficient alternative to the traditional way of undertaking audiometry testing.”

“The flexibility of Workscreen allows us to capture staff who aren’t normally covered in industries where you cannot simply arrive at a factory environment to begin back o back tests. We can combine this work with our planned consultancy support to ensure that we gather a complete data set.”

“I’m getting on with the device really well , Great feedback from staff and some managers ;-)”

“The whole process from start to finish feels like it has been thought through to ensure the end user is at ease and has all the information they need. We will be using WorkScreen for all our hearing screening needs and look forward to a continued strong working relationship.”

“We would use WorkScreen again as was given through training on the audiogram procedure for each employee, the employees found it easy to use, the result was available on screen to the employee at the end of the test and emailed to them & the manager overseeing them for record keeping, it saved production downtime and labour costs and reduced the actual cost of the audiograms.”

A simple to use, cost effective method of capturing remote/distant workers

“A simple to use, cost effective method of capturing remote/distant workers across the UK with minimal effort and reducing overall costs, time and effort in provision of Health Surveillance.”