Are Your Workers Exposed To Noise?

Noise induced hearing loss is the most common preventable work-related injury. According to the National Standard for Occupational Noise [NOHSC: 1007(2000)], workers with exposure exceeding the equivalent of eight hours of 85dB(A) are required to wear personal hearing protection (PHP). For every doubling of the sound pressure level (every additional 3dB) the exposure time must be halved to remain within the safe standard. Therefore a worker exposed to 88dB(A) is only permitted 4 hours of exposure.

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Pre-Employment Audiometric Testing

Pre-employment audiometric testing is essential to limit liability for hearing loss which has been incurred during a worker’s previous employment. NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 states that Audiometric testing must be provided prior to hazardous exposure or at least within three months of the worker commencing work. Starting the audiometric testing before people are exposed to hazardous noise (such as new starters or those changing jobs) provides a baseline as a reference for future audiometric test results.

Audiometric Monitoring

NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires that regular follow-up tests must be carried out at least every two years. Furthermore the National Code of Practice for Noise Management and Protection of Hearing at Work [NOHSC: 2009(2004)] recommends annual hearing checks for exposed workers. These checks should be undertaken well into the work shift so that any temporary hearing loss can be picked up.

More frequent audiometric testing (e.g. every six months) may be needed if exposures are at a high LAeq,8h, which is equal or greater than 100 dB(A). The aim of testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures to protect workers’ hearing. Audiometric testing is carried out in accordance with the procedures in AS/NZS 1269.4:2005 – Occupational Noise Management – Auditory assessment.

Audiometric Interpretation

Dr Daniel Mestric holds an Au.D. degree (Doctor of Audiology degree) and has been in private practice in Port Macquarie for more than 12 years. He is clinically certified by the Audiological Society of Australia (ASA) and is contracted by the Office of Hearing Services to provide hearing assessment and rehabilitation services to eligible Commonwealth clients.

Dr Mestric is highly qualified and will ensure your industrial hearing assessment program is implemented at a high professional level. If audiometric follow up services are necessary, your employees can be seen at our professional rooms on Gordon Street in Port Macquarie.