Why You Need a Professional Supervisor

Benefits of Having a CAOHC Certified Professional Supervisor (PS) in your Hearing Conservation Program

Employers can benefit from ensuring their physician and audiologist staff attends the Professional Supervisor (PS) Workshop. Employers who invest in their physician and audiologists’ PS training gain assurance by knowing their clinical team is adequately prepared to manage their Hearing Conservation Program (HCP). An optimally administered HCP protects workers from the effects of hazardous noise and protects employers from the potential costs of permanent, yet preventable, hearing loss.

Employers have a legal and ethical responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, under 29 CFR 1910.95 Occupational Noise Exposure, establishes the requirement for employers to provide HCPs whenever employees’ noise exposures equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels.  HCPs are necessary to mitigate the risk of permanent and disabling hearing impairment among workers exposed to potentially damaging noise in the workplace. 

The PS Workshop prepares physicians and audiologists to be proficient in recognizing the early signs of noise-induced hearing loss and deliver subsequent care to workers with problem audiograms. Physicians and audiologists learn about employers’ responsibilities for reporting and recording cases of workers with occupational hearing loss, learn objective approaches for making a determination about whether a hearing impairment is work-related or not, and learn about strategies to develop and inform continuous improvement of safety and worksite injury and illness prevention measures.

Attendees of the PS Workshop are better prepared to manage and administer HCPs than non-PS credentialed physicians and audiologists.  The PS Workshop curriculum is carefully designed to ensure that students are provided with a multidisciplinary body of knowledge and practical tools to promote quality within their hearing conservation programs.  Further, the PS Workshop includes training about the quality assessment of hearing conservation programs by explaining the use of aggregate medical surveillance data and promotes quality improvement throughout the spectrum of prevention strategies in the workplace.  The methods discussed during the workshop not only provide assurance in the preservation of hearing health; they communicate cost avoidance measures that may save their companies hundreds of thousands of dollars lost due to disability and workers’ compensation claims, non-compliance to Federal and State standards, and lost production.

The PS Workshop provides continuing medical education credit necessary for the maintenance of clinical licensing and board certification.  Successful employers have leveraged the PS Workshop, a one-day eight-hour course, to complement their existing occupational health services and optimize their HCPs.