How well are you managing noise?
Health and exposure monitoring are an important part of making sure your workers aren’t being harmed by noise levels at your work.
What is health monitoring?
Health monitoring means monitoring a person to identify any negative changes in their health. For noise, this is audiometric testing (a type of hearing test).
Who should carry out health monitoring?
Health monitoring needs to be done by a competent person. This is someone who knows how to carry out the monitoring and tell you what the results mean.
For hearing tests, talk to a competent health practitioner(external link) (eg an occupational health nurse, occupational physician or an audiologist).
Why should you do health monitoring?
The purpose of health monitoring is to:
- make sure that the health of workers is not being harmed from exposure to hazardous noise while carrying out work
- make sure that control measures are working effectively
- detect early signs of noise induced hearing loss
- help treat and protect workers who have been exposed to hazardous noise levels.
What is exposure monitoring?
Exposure monitoring means measuring the levels of noise in your work, and deciding if they could be harmful to your workers’ hearing. For noise, this is a detailed noise assessment.
Who should carry out exposure monitoring?
Exposure monitoring needs to be done by a competent person. This is someone who knows how to carry out the monitoring and tell you what the results mean.
For measuring the noise levels at work, talk to a competent person(external link) such as an occupational hygienist.
When do you need exposure monitoring?
You should contact an expert to find out if you need a detailed noise assessment if:
- there are lots of noise sources present at the same site (eg a factory or construction site, sports arena, early childhood centre)
- anything has changed in your work (such as work processes) that may change the noise levels
- previous exposure monitoring has shown hazardous levels of noise in your work
- you are unsure about the noise levels in your work.
When setting up a monitoring programme in your work
- Involve your workers in the decisions about monitoring. Establish a culture in your work for workers to give feedback.
- Assess the control measures you already have in place to manage risks from noise and check if they are working.
- Review the characteristics of your workplace (eg size, number of workers, equipment used).
- Talk to an expert to see if hearing tests for workers are needed to identify early signs of hearing loss. Your workers must give consent before they participate in any hearing tests.