Please see below for case studies from Agility Risk & Compliance.
Industry leader shows commitment to employee wellbeing with annual hearing tests
Florette UK & Ireland Limited is an industry-leading salad and vegetable processing company based in Lichfield, Staffordshire. The factory produces ready to eat bags and bowls of salads, supplying products to a number of popular supermarket chains and independent retailers. Florette employs 360 staff, 240 of which work in production and a further 20 of which regularly enter hearing protection zones within the raw materials, production, packaging and logistics areas of the business.
In workplaces such as production facilities where heavy-duty machinery is in constant operation and workers on the shop-floor are exposed to particularly high levels of noise, there is a legal requirement for employers to provide hearing protection. Before entering marked hearing protection zones, individuals working for or visiting Florette are provided with ear defenders, hard hats with fitted hearing protection or ear plugs, as appropriate.
Why test employee hearing?
Providing staff with annual hearing tests is just one way Florette ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workforce. Hearing tests act as confirmation that the protection measures it has in place are working effectively. Alternatively, if any deterioration in an employee’s hearing is detected, the company can investigate immediately, taking any necessary action.
Another benefit of annual hearing testing cited by Florette is that it can help employees to feel individually well-looked after, impacting positively on both productivity and staff retention. Florette also use the data gathered to help satisfy the requirements of British Retail Consortium (BRC) auditors looking to ensure that it operating ethically and that working conditions are up to scratch.
Choosing the right supplier
Without a suitable testing environment or staff with the necessary training or equipment to carry out audiometry screenings, the business chose to outsource this activity to a specialist audiometry service provider.
Andrea Peart, HR Assistant at Florette comments: “We chose to work with Agility as they were able to offer us the level of service we were looking for at a competitive price. Using their mobile unit, they’ve been able to test large numbers of staff in short periods of time (often outside of standard office hours), keeping costs down and business disruption to a minimum.
“The level of service they’ve provided to us has been nothing short of excellent. From advising us on how best to organise appointments to proactively keeping appointments flowing – they’ve helped my team out immensely. Agility’s audiology specialists have been extremely flexible – arriving very early in the morning on several occasions to accommodate our shift patterns. There was no additional cost for this. They have also been very patient, particularly when interpreters have been required for employees whose first language isn’t English. Nothing has been too much trouble. With Agility, we’ve successfully tested over 80% of those we hoped to.”
Agility’s mobile audiometric screening units are equipped with the latest audiometers within a noise-reducing booth, using noise-reducing headphones to give the maximum sound reduction. Each unit can process around 30 people a day, with all data captured for future reference and recommendations made as part of the service.
For more information on Agility’s Audiology services please visit http://www.agilityuk.com/health-surveillance/audiology/ or call 01527 571611.