originally posted June 2011
TOSHA (Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration) sent two members to the licensure board (2010) to question the scope of practice of TN audiologists. It was their contention that it was outside of the scope of practice for audiologists to determine if employee’s hearing loss was work related. Enough members of the board agreed with this position to allow TOSHA to send out communications to businesses that have hearing conservation programs in TN that only an MD could make the determination that an employee’s hearing loss was work related. Our national organizations (AAA, ADA, ASHA) and OSHA (Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) disagreed with this position as it is the audiologist that determines if a loss is work related as they are the professionals seeing the employees and reviewing historical data relating to the hearing loss and the work environment. The issue was brought up before the board again by a TN audiologist that is well versed in OSHA regulations. The board clarified their position and said it was not their intention to limit or impede an audiologist’s ability to practice in the state based on usual and customary guidelines of practice. The letter is from the attorney attached to our licensure board which verifies the final decision.