Where to find the PLH result

The KUDUwave calculates PLH automatically from the audiometry test results, using the weighted calculation tables supplied by Instruction 171 (COID, 2001). Here is where to find it on your audiogram.

Percentage Loss of Hearing (PLH) is a reference value for the hearing status of an individual against which loss can be measured. In South Africa, PLH is calculated from weighted calculation tables supplied by Instruction 171 (COID, 2001) in regulation with SANS 10083, and is used for the purposes of hearing conservation and compensation for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The KUDUwave calculates the PLH for you automatically and can be found at the bottom of the audiogram.

Audiogram-2

PLH

Occupational Health Relevance: What does PLH indicate?

Below is an assisting guideline for recommended intervention related to different PLH percentages in Occupational Health hearing assessments (reference: SANS 10083:2013, edition 5.2).

PLH = 0 to 1.1 % (indicative of normal hearing status)

Intervention:

  • Continue monitoring hearing status annually.

PLH = 3.2 to 6.4 %

Intervention:

  • Investigate the reason for the PLH shift by re-assessing the patient
  • Investigate the effectiveness of the personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e. noise protection devices. Is the attenuation provided by the PPE’s enough?
  • Investigate proper fit and use of the PPE. Train the employee on the use of PPE & hearing conservation.

PLH = 6.4 to 10 %

Advanced Intervention:

  • Investigate the reason for the PLH shift by re-assessing the patient
  • Investigate the effectiveness of the PPE
  • Train the employee on the use of PPE & hearing conservation
  • Refer employee for diagnostic audiology

PLH shift of ≥ 10 %

Advanced Intervention:

Employee to be regarded as possible candidate for compensation

  • The employee must be re-tested to confirm 10 % PLH shift (Ensure that there is no excessive noise or faulty equipment that may elevate the results)
  • If PLH shift is 10 % or more; remove patient from noise environment
  • Refer employee for diagnostic audiology
  • If Audiologist confirms PLH of 10 % or more, the date is recorded as commencement of disease.

PLH shift ≤ 30 %

Advanced Intervention:

Refer patient to Occupational Medical Practitioner for investigation if PLH is less than 30%.

PLH shift ≥ 30 %

Advanced Intervention:

Refer patient to ENT specialist for investigation and medical opinion if PLH is more than 30%.