Did you know that exposure to hazardous noise at work is a major cause of hearing loss in NSW?
The NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 under the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 requires employers and contractors to identify hazards, manage risks to health and safety, and then maintain and review control measures.
Special provisions apply to noise, audiometric testing, and personal protective equipment (PPE). SafeWork NSW has also issued a Code of Practice: Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work.
To determine whether workers are potentially exposed to a noisy workplace, different parameters can be measured and compared to the current workplace exposure standards for noise as per Model Work Health and Safety Regulations and Australian Standard by shadowing each workstation and by use of personal sound exposure meters.
Airsafe uses audio dosimetry consisting of a microphone and electronic recorder that is small enough to be attached to an operator. The method is good for employees who are not exposed to continuous noise because the instrument averages all noise exposure over a full shift.
Employees can suffer temporary or permanent hearing loss when they’re exposed to workplace noise exceeding the exposure standard of 85 decibels. Hearing loss happens when hair cells in the inner ear are permanently damaged. Once they are destroyed, they never grow back.
Known as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), the damage usually occurs over a number of years. Often a permanent condition, it can have a negative impact on an employee’s life. There are also cases where loud noises like explosive powered nail guns, firearms, stamping presses and forges can damage hearing instantly. This is called acoustic trauma.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their workers are not exposed to noise that exceeds the exposure standard. You can find out more about your responsibilities at SafeWork NSW.
Airsafe can help you make sure you comply with your legal obligations and keep your employees protected from excess noise.
Contact us for a fast quote on a noise and safety assessment.