Noise is a major workplace health and safety hazard and under WHS legislation, workers must be protected from the risk of hearing loss. Hazardous noise can destroy the ability to hear clearly, which is also known as Industrial Deafness or noise induced hearing loss.
What are my obligations under WHS legislation?
Industrial deafness is irreversible and preventable. In accordance with AS/NZS 1269.1:2005 Occupational Noise Management, workplace noise regulations requires exposure levels must be less than LAeq, 8hr of 85 dB(A) and LC, peak of 140 dB(C).
In simple terms, environments where noisy machinery and equipment are being used or if you need to raise your voice to speak to someone who is only 1 metre away from you, the noise is likely to be hazardous. It is also important to note that exposure to noise can build up over time (cumulative) if a worker performs a number of noisy work activities over time which, in combination, may expose the worker to hazardous noise.
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must manage the risks of hearing loss associated with noise at the workplace by:
ensuring that the noise a worker is exposed to at the workplace does not exceed the exposure standard for noise; and
- by providing audiometric testing to a worker who is frequently required to use personal hearing protectors to protect the worker from hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard.
How can we help?
Safety Australia Group can provide guidance to reduce potential health risks associated with noise exposure. Through well engineered noise cancelling and noise control strategies the risk of workplace noise can be managed.
If not addressed, it can result in the permanent hearing loss of workers which is life changing for the person involved and costly to the organisation through increased workers compensation premiums, replacement and training costs. The degree of hearing loss is dependant on how loud the noise is, the amount of exposure, and the frequency and pitch.
Our qualified industrial audiologist can conduct a range of hearing tests (audiometric testing) as well as detailed noise assessments.
For further information about our full range of audiology services visit our Safety Consultants Australia website, contact us online or phone 1300 585 128.