Professional Supervisor Scope of Practice
The following elements are within the scope of practice for the Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program (PS/A):
Establishment and Supervision of an Audiometric Testing Program
- Establish policies for adequate testing and appropriate use of audiometric and hearing-related questionnaire information.
- Establish policies for adequate training and CAOHC certification of all individuals who perform hearing tests.
- Ensure adequacy of test equipment and environment according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other applicable standards and regulations.
- Ensure proper testing protocols.
- Ensure that occupational hearing conservationists (OHCs) correctly perform functional checks of equipment and test environment.
- Ensure proper policies for OHC review of audiograms to detect standard threshold shifts (STSs) and refer workers for retesting, if warranted.
Review of Audiograms
- Review problem audiograms and compare them with baseline and past audiograms.
- Review test environment sound levels and audiometric calibration and determine whether the test environment is compliant.
- Ensure that age correction is calculated correctly when utilized.
- Determine whether further evaluation is needed.
- Determine whether baseline revision is indicated.
Determination of Work-Relatedness
- Evaluate the test environment for compliance.
- Assess all past audiograms for validity.
- Ensure that the OHC performed the audiometric testing properly.
- Review the worker's medical history and determine whether additional medical evaluation is required.
- Perform additional medical evaluation if appropriate and/or refer the worker and review the test results.
- Review the worker's occupational and nonoccupational noise exposure history, exposure to ototoxic agents, and use of hearing protection devices (HPDs).
- Judge the likely contribution of occupational exposures.
- Refer worker for follow up and notify each worker on a case-by-case basis.
- Determine if an STS is recordable or reportable to regulatory agencies.
Follow Up of Work-Related Auditory Disorders
- Plan preventive strategies for workers assessed with an occupational-related hearing impairment (eg, reduce exposure, improve use of HPDs, recommend work restrictions).
- Determine additional follow-up actions and communicate with supervisors, health professional and safety personnel.
Management of an Audiometric Database
- Oversee management and integrity of the audiometric database, including recordkeeping and use of electronic records, to ensure correct tracking and maintenance of audiograms according to applicable standards and regulations.
- Ensure that policies are in place to safeguard worker privacy and the security of records in the audiometric database.
- Periodically evaluate the audiometric database using methods such as audiometric database analysis to determine whether test-test variability is acceptable or whether an unacceptable level of hearing loss is occurring.
- Decide whether the results of the audiometric data analyses warrant further actions to improve primary prevention strategies in the workplace to mitigate the risk of work-related hearing loss.