Spotlight On Business

Baseline Road Trips Offer Gift Of Hearing, Touches Hearts

Lori Donaldson, Baseline Industrial Hearing Testing

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Baseline Industrial Hearing:

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The Baseline Industrial Hearing truck is based in Chilliwack.

Lori Donaldson rolls up to B.C. industrial, correctional and educational sites in her dual-wheeled, 500-square-foot mobile hearing truck, sets up and pulls the cord on a portable generator, and smiles as she opens the door to her newest passion in life.

“I should have done this years ago,” she said about her mobile business, Baseline Industrial Hearing Testing.  “I love what I do and helping with the gift of hearing for many.”

After working in a hearing health clinic setting for 20 years, Lori realized “I am much better out of the office.”

Road trips, meeting new people and helping others with hearing issues is particularly rewarding for Lori who after leaving her job in her late 50s was “too young to retire, but too old to start all over again.” 

Two years ago, Community Futures South Fraser self-employment program personnel worked with her to give her support, knowledge and courage to start her new business, an authorized mobile industrial audiometric testing service following strict BC Health and Safety Regulations through WorkSafeBC. She says “ The workshops and tools they provided and continue to provide are always on point and invaluable, they are always there when I need them.”

“Not a lot of people are doing this in B.C.,” she said, adding that WorkSafeBC reports there are some 200,000 people on worksites still to be tested.  In the last three months, Lori’s truck featuring two hearing testing booths conducted 400 tests. 

At one construction site, Lori said she introduced a hard-of-hearing worker, who was not protecting what hearing he had left, to electronic ear muffs to enhance voices and cut down on hazardous noise.

“Not many people know about this device, and he was excited.  He called me two days later, giggling, saying he could actually hear his TV and voices around him.  It felt good that I made that change in his life and it touched my heart,” she said.

In addition to hearing testing, Baseline creates custom moulded hearing protection and conducts noise surveys.

“This business is a game-changer for me and I am excited to say I just hired my first employee, my 30-year-old son who now has his Industrial Audiometric Technician licence.”

Lori sees a day when she is responsible only for Baseline’s business administration and he takes over. Her husband is also engaged with Community Futures as a wood worker looking for a new challenge. 

“I offer service to clients in the way I want to.  I like being my own boss. I don’t have to worry about office politics,” she said, proud to offer her special audiometric services to workers and employers working in noisy environments.