Hearing Conservation

  • Understands the mission of CAOHC and its significance to your role as an OHC
  • Understands the relationship of hearing conservation regulations and compliance to best practices
  • Understands the elements of a hearing conservation program
  • Understands the auditory effects of noise
  • Can identify potential sources of hazardous noise in both occupational and non occupational work settings
  • Understands the impact of hearing loss, tinnitus and associated disorders on quality of life, along with the social and psychological consequences
  • Can list the professional disciplines and their role in hearing conservation programs
  • Understands the historical background of hearing conservation and the role CAOHC has played in establishing best practices
  • Detect the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in different populations

Anatomy, Physiology, and Diseases of the Ear

  • Can identify the major parts of the ear and describe their function
  • Understands the relationship between tinnitus and noise induced hearing loss
  • Can differentiate between a normal audiogram and audiogram configuration which is typical for noise induced hearing loss
  • Can identify the typical symptoms associated with various types of hearing loss
  • Understands medical conditions that can cause hearing loss
  • Can identify other disorders of the ear and the associated types of hearing loss (i.e. conductive, sensory)
  • Understands other types of audiogram configuration

Hearing and the Physics of Sound

  • Understands the definition of frequency (Hz)/pitch and its relationship to noise measurement and hearing threshold data
  • Understands and can explain thresholds and how they apply to a hearing conservation program
  • Understands the definition of intensity (dB)/loudness and its relationship to noise measurement and hearing threshold data
  • Understands sound by its temporal characteristics (intermittent, steady state, impulse/impact)
  • Understands sound weighting scales and how they apply to a hearing conservation program

Federal and State Regulations Related to Occupational NIHL

  • Understands federal hearing conservation regulations, (i.e. OSHA, MSHA, FRA, and DoD) and can describe how they differ in application
  • Understands how state and local regulations apply in contrast to the federal regulations

Audiometer and Testing Environment

  • Understands when use of manual audiometry testing is needed
  • Can identify the parts and functions of the different settings on a manual audiometer
  • Understands the process of performing a pure tone air conduction threshold hearing test
  • Understands the variables that affect the reliability and validity of the hearing test
  • Understands the steps necessary to rule out equipment malfunction
  • Understands audiometer calibration requirements
  • Understands and perform a functional check for an audiometer
  • Understands the advantages and disadvantages of using a microprocessor versus a manual audiometer
  • Can identify the appropriate ambient noise standards for the testing environment

Audiometric Techniques and Testing

  • Understands an audiogram in terms of frequency/pitch (Hz); intensity/loudness (dB) and configuration
  • Understands the challenges associated with audiometric testing and the procedures for dealing with these challenges
  • Can identify the components and understand the importance of an aural history exam
  • Understands the benefit and importance of performing an otoscopic screening

Audiometric Review and Evaluation

  • Understands the limitations of the OHC as they relate to the review, referral and counseling process
  • Can identify problem audiograms for Professional Supervisor review
  • Can calculate a standard threshold shift (STS) with and without using age correction

Noise Measurement and Control

  • Understands the meaning and importance of action levels and permissible exposure levels (PEL)
  • Understands the purpose of noise measurement and control strategies related to the overall hearing conservation program
  • Understands the types of instrumentation used to measure noise & the circumstances in which they would be used
  • Understands the meaning and importance of time weighted average (TWA)

Hearing Protection Device (HPD) Fitting

  • Understands and can explain the rationale for using hearing protection
  • Understands Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and its relation to actual attenuation
  • Understands the proper selection of a variety of HPDs, (i.e. foam and per-molded earplugs, semi-insert devices, and earmuffs)
  • Understands the importance of proper fitting techniques for HPDs to ensure an adequate fit
  • Understands and can explain care and maintenance of HPDs
  • Can identify strategies to motivate workers and management to use HPDs regularly and effectively
  • Understands the various methods of fit verification for HPDs

Counseling and Training

  • Can identify the required training components
  • Can provide several different training methods for hearing loss prevention within the workplace (i.e. face-to-face training, on-site posters, hearing protection distribution station, etc.)
  • Can provide ongoing training, education and motivation to improve compliance within the hearing conservation program
  • Can incorporate motivational strategies or simple incentives to encourage compliance
  • Understands the importance of conducting comprehensive employee hearing protection training program on a regular basis

Recordkeeping and Hearing Conservation Team

  • Can document and maintain accurate employee records
  • Understands the role of the Professional Supervisor within the Hearing Conservation Program team

OHC Recertification Course

Certified occupational hearing conservationists (COHCs) renew their credentials every 5 years. To become a Recertified Occupational Hearing Conservationist (COHC), a candidate completes a Council for Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC)-approved, 8-hour recertification course and earns a passing score on the exam.

Students take their assessment-based certificate exam at the end of the 8-hour recertification course. The exam questions reflect only information presented in the course.