You’ve planned to keep on top of your health and safety responsibilities for months. You’ve told yourself you’ll carry out those vital checks – including hearing tests – but somehow you’ve never quite gotten around to it.
First the summer holidays came and went.
Half your staff disappeared to sip Piña colada by the pool while the other half twiddled their thumbs during the lull or went bonkers doing the work of three people (who were on the beach in their budgie-smugglers).
Then, before you know it, it’s Christmas and your team are taking days off at short notice to finish their Christmas shopping – not to mention calling in sick with the odd post-party hangover or two.
So you’ll probably think we’re crazy when we say this is the perfect time to run your workplace hearing tests.
What’s the point without a full complement of staff?
We get it – when you’re low on bodies, there are two things stopping you from occupational health tests:
It’s quiet, there’s hardly any staff, so it’s pointless carrying out checks, or
It’s busy, you’re low on staff and the ones who are around are rushed off their feet
But let’s face it – there’s always something: whether it’s summer, Christmas or Easter, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Mauve Wednesday or special caring month… holiday seasons are either a ghost town or all hands to the pump.
However, this isn’t the time to put those tests off – they still need to be done, after all.
Why holidays are ideal for hearing tests at work.
Waiting until everyone’s returned from their break seems logical, however, once they’re back, they’ll be busy catching up on work and things will go back to normal.
Come back holidays; everything is forgiven! So, what makes holidays perfect?
In a word: Time.
For those organisations who suffer a lull, WorkScreen hearing tests take just 15-minutes, which means there’s ample time to fit in a test – even if your employees are catching up on all the fiddly jobs they never have time to do, like:
By squeezing them in now, you’ll be ahead of the game and reduce the overall number you need to fit in when you’re back up to a full complement of staff.
Alternatively, with a WorkScreen hearing test, you can take a slightly more relaxed approach and test everyone as they come and go throughout the holidays. This makes it possible to test the staff working furiously to cover for their colleagues – without disrupting them on their busiest days.
It might take a little longer, but you get there in the end.
In fact, since heavy workloads and stress can lead to absences, giving staff a break and investing in their health for 15-minutes may calm them, reassure them their health is a priority and allow them to tackle their heavy workload with a clear mind.
How to make sure staff turn up for a hearing test.
Our current clients report that – before working with WorkScreen – up to 50% of their staff cancelled or didn’t attend scheduled hearing tests. This is often because they had other tasks to attend to at their allotted appointment time. And all too often ‘urgent’ tasks trump ‘important’ ones.
Sad, but true.
So, how do you make sure you fulfil your Health & Safety duties?
With new starters, it’s easy: it’s good practice to make hearing checks part of your induction process (and your exit interviews, for that matter). And contractors and temps can be captured on their way in, too.
However, for long-term staff, it’s a little harder.There are generally two approaches:
You could slowly drip-feed hearing tests in over a few weeks when staff return from holiday (This may take a while, but it does mean you get everyone.) Or:
You can implement an intensive program of testing over a shorter period (But quick-fire hearing tests can be disrupted by a sudden influx of work, ill staff or other events which cancel scheduled tests.)
So how do you get the best of both worlds?
By being flexible, you’re able to give your staff different options.You could:
Ask them to select a day and time when they know they’re quiet. They can even self-report or sign up at a time that works best for them
Have them choose multiple times and dates, so should one be cancelled, alternatives are already in place
Arrange a time before their working day – especially if they’re usually in 30-minutes early and spend that time browsing the internet
Or should that fail, try whipping up excitement around some celebrations – with helpful noise-based reminders – like:
Bonfire night – so they can hear every whoosh, bang and boom of one of the most exciting nights of the year
Halloween – so they can listen to their children’s frightfully ghoulish screams and cackles
Christmas – so they never miss a single second of getting together with loved ones
Summer – who doesn’t love the sound of waves?
Making sure everyone completes a test isn’t easy, so staying flexible and giving your staff options or incentives will help you pin them down.
Claim your super-fast in-house hearing test kit.
If you wish to provide hearing tests for your staff, WorkScreen administers occupational hearing tests via our patented system. Our handsets are easy to use, and provide instant HSE categorised reports, backed up by our fully qualified audiology team.
No specialist knowledge is needed. This means tests can be done by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Even better, as each test only takes around 15 minutes, WorkScreen gives you the flexibility to fit these vital health tests in during either quiet times or busy periods of the year.
If you’d like to hear more or want to get started, contact us today to claim a “speedy discount” on workplace hearing tests agreed before Christmas 2019.
● Workplace hearing tests
● Hearing tests
● In-house hearing test
● Occupational hearing tests
● Hearing health
● Induction interview
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