CPA Group site staff are constantly on the lookout for areas where we can add value to our clients, their operations and their workforces. One area where we are often asked to contribute is in managing and delivering Ear fit testing and Face fit testing programs.

Paul McAllister and Michael Carey are two CPA Group Paramedic Team Leaders working at Hay Point Coal Terminal, as part of a 4-person medical team.

(Kevin Hamilton – National Operations Manager Health & Medical and Michael Carey during test on site)

Although we have been conducting ear fit testing for some time at the site, we are about to deploy a new system called ‘EARFit’. The new system is easier for both the user and the tester.

The testing will need to be conducted on all workers on site who are exposed to industrial noise. Employees are flagged as requiring this testing in their site profile – once flagged, an employee’s manager will contact the medic who has scheduled times throughout the week when testing can be conducted.

The site workforce is around 250-300 persons, so we expect at least 150 – 200 to be tested. Once everyone on site has been tested, we still have to test new employees and the test is performed again every 2 years, so it is an ongoing requirement.

Each test takes only a few seconds but preparation is longer (10-15 minutes). The employee is hooked up to sensors which check how well their ear protection works (ear plugs).

It is not a hearing test, just fit testing (fit for purpose).

If their current plug is not providing adequate protection, we check for correct use and if it is still not adequate we offer a range of plugs which can be recommended and which are available on site.

The team, although highly experienced in these programs, did need to do some in-house training to familiarise themselves with the new system.

(Michelle Wright and Michael Carey)

A valuable and positive contribution from the CPA Group team!