My Employer has asked me to take a hearing test.........

Hi Folks,

I've been with my current Employer since last June, and right from the start have told them that my hearing wasn't too good. In January this year I had my HA's fitted which obviously helped immensly, but since I drive a Forklift and move steel around for a job, this means that my HA's have to be set on a low level - simply because of the clash of steel and the noise of the Truck. Obviously when I'm not on a truck I set them back to normal.
It's been very very quiet at work recently, and they've laid off quite a few people - I've got round this by simply being very good at what I do (donkey work though it is! )

Anyway, our Health and Safety advisor has been roaming around our department today, I think because business is very quiet it's given her the time to be nosy :)
So she comes up to me while I was counting parts, and say's "you're the one with the hearing problem aren't you? How do you find it?"
So I said that I had suspected otosclerosis and that didn't let it affect my work, and that I just got on with things, I can hear things like reversing trucks, people talking, the Fire alarm, the tannoy etc... all the important stuff.. I said there is an operation that can restore the hearing to near-normal levels but for now I was ok using HA's.
She asked me what percentage of deafness had I got? I said I wasn't sure it actually worked like that, it was more to do with noise levels and frequencies.
She asked me how I would feel about taking a hearing test, I said well I wear HA's at work, so I don't really feel it would make any difference, you have my Doctors and my ENT Specialists numbers on my file, so you could talk to them if you thought it was needed.
She said that work would pay for the test and that she would have a word to my Supervisor and see what they said...

I'm just wondering why this sudden interest? I know they can't make me Redundant because of my hearing. I've worked in this particular field of Employment for 5 years, 3 and a half of those as Team Leader and Supervisor and I've never let my poor hearing affect my work level or performance.

I've probably nothing to worry about, but even so.........
 

Frisky Feline

Well-Known Member
ask them if they plan to buy you the new hearing aids?? If i were you, i would ask them why all of a sudden they took an interest in my hearing issue.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
ask them if they plan to buy you the new hearing aids?? If i were you, i would ask them why all of a sudden they took an interest in my hearing issue.

I would also find what his rights are and if he has to take a hearing test with the company DR. I would be concerned if business been slow.
 

SilentRider

Member
Sometimes when there's an safety check, they might be required by law to accommodate your needs like flashing lights with alarm, or something. So its possible they are checking if u meet levels that require the company to provide or if they are in the clear. But nowadays u never know. I'd be cautious too. Hope its for your benefit.
 
Thanks Guys. I was talking to my Wife (who has a background and career in Law) about this last night, she's told me to document everything, and to ask why the need for a test - basically much the same advice as you guys!
It does have me concerned though, my Employer doesn't have the best record when it comes to keeping staff - they're very very quick to dismiss people, and have been successfully sued in the past by unhappy previous employees.
Our Transport Supervisor is a member of the local union, I think I'll talk to him today about joining up. Knowing what rights I have seems really important right now.

However, on the upside, if Work does want to buy me a set of really really expensive HA's or pay for an operation to correct my Otosclerosis, then I'm not going to turn that down :)
 

JMH

Active Member
I agreed with your wife... It sounds fishy about lady asking you to take hearing test. If it doesn't affect your performance at work, then there's no need to take test.
 

Angel1989

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Sounds very suspicious to me. Maybe they want to verify your hearing loss so they don't get in trouble with the ADA if they lay you off???? They're lucky to have such a good, hard working employee. Good luck!
 

VacationGuy234

Active Member
Who employs the, 'Health and Safety" person?

I don't see a problem with the hearing test. Tell them your doctor's office will do the test and send it to the company. And, documenting it would be a good idea.

While it could be that they are looking for staff cuts, it could also be the the, "Health and Safety" person is looking to dream up work so that person will not be let go.
 

Mewtilation

New Member
I didn't even know they could require you to take a hearing test if it's not needed to function at your place of employment. ( As long as you're not telemarketing it up all day or anything :laugh2: ) But seriously.....
 
Well, having thought about it, maybe our Health & Safety person is just looking for something to do, I thought someone might mention something to me today, but nothing. I know I'm good at what I do (no false modesty here guys :) ), and if they do lay me off, I'll certainly be playing the disability card (even though I dont class myself as having one!)
BTW the "Health&Safety" woman is an employee of the company, and between us lot, she ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer :)
 

Mewtilation

New Member
Well, having thought about it, maybe our Health & Safety person is just looking for something to do, I thought someone might mention something to me today, but nothing. I know I'm good at what I do (no false modesty here guys :) ), and if they do lay me off, I'll certainly be playing the disability card (even though I dont class myself as having one!)
BTW the "Health&Safety" woman is an employee of the company, and between us lot, she ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer :)

Most of them aren't the brightest crayons in the box. :P Looks like you don't have much to worry about. Good thing! :D
 

goodonya

Well-Known Member
I like your idea of joining the onsite union. I think you are right to be concerned about the sudden interest of the safety person. I have found them to in general be non workers with a sharp eye on keeping their non worker job. It never hurts to somehow without being obvious in any way let it be known that your wife is in the legal field. "I am not sure whether the company should be giving me a hearing test, my wife works for a labor attorney, I will do what the law recommends".
Something like that. Very subtle. Stall the whole issue without saying yes or no but being totally polite and helpful. The same stuff they do to you.
If she still comes around after that it is important to pull out your notepad and begin asking questions and taking notes all the while voicing concern about getting your project completed. If there are people around make sure you talk just loud enough for them to hear. Do not actually take their hearing test. Don't let it happen. Just my free advice so it is worth what I charge for it.
 

caz12

New Member
no bother me aslong they prepared get me GOOD H/A.test me sight me feet if they provide specks and shoe...Ohter than that leave me alone do my job
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
Thanks Guys. I was talking to my Wife (who has a background and career in Law) about this last night, she's told me to document everything, and to ask why the need for a test - basically much the same advice as you guys!
It does have me concerned though, my Employer doesn't have the best record when it comes to keeping staff - they're very very quick to dismiss people, and have been successfully sued in the past by unhappy previous employees.
Our Transport Supervisor is a member of the local union, I think I'll talk to him today about joining up. Knowing what rights I have seems really important right now.

However, on the upside, if Work does want to buy me a set of really really expensive HA's or pay for an operation to correct my Otosclerosis, then I'm not going to turn that down :)

I worked with the DOD unfortunately, and they routinely announce "retirements" for staff that they consider "too old to work." Hence the swift move out of that agency. They didn't care what tests I had, they were the most God awful b^^^ I ever worked for. Document, document, document...and keep quiet. Turn the tables on this person that's talking to you and ask her if the agency usually asks personal medical info from staff and what her motivation is. If it's accomodating you, she'll come out with it. My former agency was willing to bend over backwards to help me, but the DOD - no.....

A person you work for isn't your friend so be very guarded with what you tell them....or they'll use it against you. Your wife can probably give you a list of discussions to avoid.

Laura
 
Thanks for the advice Guys. The H&S woman spoke to my Supervisor earlier today about my Hearing loss.
He said it didn't affect my work, that I had to turn my HA's down in loud situations (as my Audiologist suggested I do!) and when driving a Forklift truck, was still able to hear verbal commands, reversing bleepers, sirens, horns etc and generally queried the need for me to take any sort of hearing test when the company was actively trying to save money...
I still reckon this is the H&S woman justifying her job!

My Wife has suggested I refuse to take a hearing test - should Work pursue this, unless they have absolutely bullet-proof grounds for doing so.

My guess is Work will forget all about this. It's starting to get busy, so I'm guessing sooner rather than later!

Can I just say thanks again for all your advice and help here, it means a lot to me :)
 
The only way it is not discrimination is if they ask EVERYONE to take a hearing test.

oh, absolutely! Funnily enough one of the chaps at work mentioned that to me today, he reckons they'll forget about it soon enough.

It's a loud noisy factory, I guarantee that at least 7 or 8 people there have got some sort of hearing loss - especially amongst the old Hands who have been with the place since the 1960's and 70s. That would be a real can of worms I reckon!
Imagine the cost of suddenly having to equip a good proportion of your workforce with HA's :) That'll learn em!
 
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