Noise in the workplace

Exposure to excessive noise in the workplace can result in hearing impairment. Damage to ear drums and the complex structures in the inner ear can result in temporary and permanent hearing loss.

We have produced guidance on managing noise in the workplace.

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Guidance for PCBUs

Managing noise in the workplace

Provides guidance on identifying and assessing noise hazards, controlling them at the source, monitoring health effects of excessive noise and training and education.

ACOP: Management of noise in the workplace (PDF 442 KB)

Control guide: Management of noise at work

Gives advice on establishing a noise management strategy.

Control guide: Management of noise at work (PDF 1.1 MB)

A message to employers on preventing hearing loss

Gives advice about noise-induced hearing loss, the responsibilities regarding noise surveys, hearing tests and noise control plans. It also includes information about hearing protection and education for workers.

A message to employers on preventing hearing loss (PDF 218 KB)

Set of noise fact sheets

Covering:

  • how noise affects your hearing
  • how can hearing damage be avoided
  • how PCBUs can reduce noise
  • fitting personal hearing protection
  • facts about hearing protection.

How noise affects your hearing (PDF 70 KB)

Occupational noise exposure – Selection and use of hearing protectors

Gives advice on hearing protector ratings. It also includes advice on the selection, use and maintenance of hearing protectors.

Occupational noise exposure - selection and use of hearing protectors (PDF 89 KB)

Classified hearing protectors

Intended to assist PCBUs and workers to choose hearing protectors that will give suitable protection against excessive noise levels.

Classified hearing protectors (PDF 1.8 MB)

Hearing protection poster - noise hazard area

Used in a workplace where a specific class of hearing protection must be worn. It can be printed on A3 or A4 posters and as A4 stickers.

Hearing protection poster - noise hazard area (PDF 18 KB)

Guidance for workers

A message to employees on avoiding hearing loss

Gives advice on the symptoms of hearing loss, how hearing ability is measured and ideas for support when hearing loss has occurred.

A message to employees on avoiding hearing loss (PDF 32 KB)

Listen! You might be going deaf

This is available in 3 languages and provides guidance to help workers recognise the warning signs of hearing loss.

Listen! You might be going deaf - English  (PDF 166 KB)

Listen! You might be going deaf - Samoan (PDF 162 KB)

Listen! You might be going deaf - Tongan (PDF 162 KB)