PROGRAM EVALUATION CHECKLIST
Training and Education
Failures or deficiencies in hearing conservation programs (hearing loss prevention
programs) can often be traced to inadequacies in the training and education of
noise-exposed employees and those who conduct elements of the program.
1. Has training been conducted at least once a year?
2. Was the training provided by a qualified instructor?
3. Was the success of each training program evaluated?
4. Is the content revised periodically?
5. Are managers and supervisors directly involved?
6. Are posters, regulations, handouts, and employee newsletters used as supplements?
7. Are personal counseling sessions conducted for employees having problems with
hearing protection devices or showing hearing threshold shifts?
Data indicate that employees who refuse to wear hearing protectors or who fail to show
up for hearing tests frequently work for supervisors who are not totally committed to the
hearing loss prevention programs.
1. Have supervisors been provided with the knowledge required to supervise the use and
care of hearing protectors by subordinates?
2. Do supervisors wear hearing protectors in appropriate areas?
3. Have supervisors been counseled when employees resist wearing protectors or fail to
show up for hearing tests?
4. Are disciplinary actions enforced when employees repeatedly refuse to wear hearing
For noise measurements to be useful, they need to be related to noise exposure risks or
the prioritization of noise control efforts, rather than merely filed away. In addition,
the results need to be communicated to the appropriate personnel, especially when
follow-up actions are required.
1. Were the essential/critical noise studies performed?
2. Was the purpose of each noise study clearly stated? Have noise-exposed employees
been notified of their exposures and apprised of auditory risks?
3. Are the results routinely transmitted to supervisors and other key individuals?
4. Are results entered into health/medical records of noise exposed employees?
5. Are results entered into shop folders?
6. If noise maps exist, are they used by the proper staff?
7. Are noise measurement results considered when contemplating procurement of new
equipment? Modifying the facility? Relocating employees?
8. Have there been changes in areas, equipment, or processes that have altered noise
exposure? Have follow-up noise measurements been conducted?
9. Are appropriate steps taken to include (or exclude) employees in the hearing loss
prevention programs whose exposures have changed significantly?
Engineering and Administrative Controls
Controlling noise by engineering and administrative methods is often the most effective
means of reducing or eliminating the hazard. In some cases engineering controls will
remove requirements for other components of the program, such as audiometric testing and
the use of hearing protectors.
1. Have noise control needs been prioritized?
2. Has the cost-effectiveness of various options been addressed?
3. Are employees and supervisors apprised of plans for noise control measures? Are they
consulted on various approaches?
4. Will in-house resources or outside consultants perform the work?
5. Have employees and supervisors been counseled on the operation and maintenance of
noise control devices?
6. Are noise control projects monitored to ensure timely completion?
7. Has the full potential for administrative controls been evaluated? Are noisy
processes conducted during shifts with fewer employees? Do employees have sound-treated
lunch or break areas?
Monitoring Audiometry and Record Keeping
The skills of audiometric technicians, the status of the audiometer, and the quality of
audiometric test records are crucial to hearing loss prevention program success. Useful
information may be ascertained from the audiometric records as well as from those who
actually administer the tests.
1. Has the audiometric technician been adequately trained, certified, and recertified
2. Do on-the-job observations of the technicians indicate that they perform a thorough
and valid audiometric test, instruct and consult the employee effectively, and keep
3. Are records complete?
4. Are follow-up actions documented?
5. Are hearing threshold levels reasonably consistent from test to test? If not, are the
reasons for inconsistencies investigated promptly?
6. Are the annual test results compared to baseline to identify the presence of an OSHA
standard threshold shift?
7. Is the annual incidence of standard threshold shift greater than a few percent? If
so, are problem areas pinpointed and remedial steps taken?
8. Are audiometric trends (deteriorations) being identified, both in individuals and in
groups of employees? (NIOSH recommends no more than 5% of workers showing 15 dB
Significant Threshold Shift, same ear, same frequency.)
9. Do records show that appropriate audiometer calibration procedures have been
10. Is there documentation showing that the background sound levels in the audiometer
room were low enough to permit valid testing?
11. Are the results of audiometric tests being communicated to supervisors and managers
as well as to employees?
12. Has corrective action been taken if the rate of no-shows for audiometric test
appointments is more than about 5%?
13. Are employees incurring STS notified in writing within at least 21 days? (NIOSH
recommends immediate notification if retest shows 15 dB Significant Threshold Shift, same
ear, same frequency.)
Referrals to outside sources for consultation or treatment are sometimes in order, but
they can be an expensive element of the hearing loss prevention program, and should not be
1. Are referral procedures clearly specified?
2. Have letters of agreement between the company and consulting physicians or
audiologists been executed?
3. Have mechanisms been established to ensure that employees needing evaluation or
treatment actually receive the service (i.e., transportation, scheduling, reminders)?
4. Are records properly transmitted to the physician or audiologist, and back to the
5. If medical treatment is recommended, does the employee understand the condition
requiring treatment, the recommendation, and methods of obtaining such treatment?
6. Are employees being referred unnecessarily?
Hearing Protection Devices
When noise control measures are infeasible, or until such time as they are installed,
hearing protection devices are the only way to prevent hazardous levels of noise from
damaging the inner ear. Making sure that these devices are worn effectively requires
continuous attention on the part of supervisors and program implementors as well as
1. Have hearing protectors been made available to all employees whose daily average
noise exposures are 85 dBA or above? (NIOSH recommends requiring HPD use if noises equal
or exceed 85 dBA regardless of exposure time.)
2. Are employees given the opportunity to select from a variety of appropriate
3. Are employees fitted carefully with special attention to comfort?
4. Are employees thoroughly trained, not only initially but at least once a year?
5. Are the protectors checked regularly for wear or defects, and replaced immediately
6. If employees use disposable hearing protectors, are replacements readily available?
7. Do employees understand the appropriate hygiene requirements?
8. Have any employees developed ear infections or irritations associated with the use
of hearing protectors? Are there any employees who are unable to wear these devices
because of medical conditions? Have these conditions been treated promptly and
9. Have alternative types of hearing protectors been considered when problems with
current devices are experienced?
10. Do employees who incur noise-induced hearing loss receive intensive counseling?
11. Are those who fit and supervise the wearing of hearing protectors competent to deal
with the many problems that can occur?
12. Do workers complain that protectors interfere with their ability to do their jobs?
Do they interfere with spoken instructions or warning signals? Are these complaints
followed promptly with counseling, noise control, or other measures?
13. Are employees encouraged to take their hearing protectors home if they engage in
noisy non-occupational activities?
14. Are new types of or potentially more effective protectors considered as they become
15. Is the effectiveness of the hearing protector program evaluated regularly?
16. Have at-the-ear protection levels been evaluated to ensure that either over or
under protection has been adequately balanced according to the anticipated ambient noise
17. Is each hearing protector user required to demonstrate that he or she understands
how to use and care for the protector? The results documented?
Keeping organized and current on administrative matters will help the program run
1. Have there been any changes in federal or state regulations? Have hearing loss
prevention program's policies been modified to reflect these changes?
2. Are copies of company policies and guidelines regarding the hearing loss prevention
program available in the offices that support the various program elements? Are those who
implement the program elements aware of these policies? Do they comply?
3. Are necessary materials and supplies being ordered with a minimum of delay?
4. Are procurement officers overriding the hearing loss prevention program
implementor's requests for specific hearing protectors or other hearing loss prevention
equipment? If so, have corrective steps been taken?
5. Is the performance of key personnel evaluated periodically? If such performance is
found to be less than acceptable, are steps taken to correct the situation?
6. Safety: Has the failure to hear warning shouts or alarms been tied to any accidents
or injuries? If so, have remedial steps been taken?
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