For organisations where noise and dust have been identified as workplace hazards, noise monitoring and dust monitoring is critical to ensure your business is complying with OHS legislation. Acute and long-term overexposure to either workplace noise or workplace dust has been found to lead to health problems.
Why do Dust and Noise Monitoring?
Occupational noise-induced hearing loss is a significant health and economic problem in Australia. Between July 2002 and June 2007 there were approximately 16,500 successful workers’ compensation claims for industrial deafness involving permanent impairment due to noise (SWA, 2010). Dust has also been shown to result in occupational illness. Atmospheric dust has been associated with lung disorders and diseases. One of these diseases is pneumoconiosis, which is a general term for lung diseases caused by dust inhalation. The OHS legislation outlines Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) / Threshold Limit Value (TLV) for both noise and dust exposure. This places a responsibility on employers to implement noise and dust management plans, no matter what the industry. At Action OHS Consulting we work with businesses to establish noise monitoring and dust monitoring methodologies that are specific to their needs and operations. If you would like further information regarding how Action OHS Services can assist you with noise monitoring and dust monitoring, please do not hesitate to contact us. For more information regarding noise monitoring and dust monitoring, please see below.
Legislative requirements regarding dust and noise monitoring
Both the noise monitoring exposure limits and dust monitoring exposure limits are consistent across all jurisdictions in Australia. The noise exposure limits have been adopted within the Health and Safety Legislation. Noise Monitoring – It is legislated across all State jurisdictions in Australia that:
- Hearing protection is to be provided if the eight-hour equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level is not less than 85 dB(A); and,
- If a worker’s exposure to peak noise level reaches 140 dB(C).
Dust Monitoring – Safe Work Australia in its Workplace Exposure Standards Airborne Contaminants outline the exposure limits. The exposure limits vary depending on the dust source.
Your duty with Dust and Noise Monitoring
Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace. When appropriate, quantifying a workers exposure to workplace noise and dust hazards is critical in order to assist workplaces in managing these OHS risks. To achieve a safe working environment, the following events should be the minimum driver for a business (that has both noise and dust hazards in their workplace) to complete noise monitoring or dust monitoring assessments:
- As a minimum, every two to five-year period. Noise monitoring and dust monitoring should be carried out to identify changes in noise and dust exposure as a result of factors which may include:
- Deterioration of plant and equipment
- Changes in work procedures
- New production processes, and
- Demonstrating the effectiveness of established noise controls.
- Supplementary noise monitoring and/or dust monitoring surveillance should be completed where new plant and equipment has been introduced to the workplace, where work practices have changed, or in areas where regular monitoring is required to check changes in exposure due to seasonal or workload related factors, and
- Noise monitoring and/or dust monitoring surveillance is to be completed following trends being identified through workers compensation claim data, audiometric testing, or concerns that are raised via the Health and Safety Committee.
Action OHS Consulting’s Dust and Noise Monitoring Services
Our Noise Monitoring and Dust Monitoring services include:
- Establishing a noise monitoring and/or dust monitoring scope of work specific to your needs
- Undertaking noise exposure monitoring (AS 2399)
- Undertaking inhalable dust (AS 3640) and respirable dust (AS 2985) exposure monitoring
- Undertaking respirable crystalline silica (RCS) or quartz exposure monitoring
- Reviewing hearing and dust management programs
- Establishing the requirements of personal hearing protection, and
- Undertaking noise awareness training for workers and management.
Each service offering is completed in line with the relevant Australian Standards. For noise monitoring or dust monitoring, Action OHS Consulting will include the methodology used and findings from the monitoring in a concise report that will ensure that all findings and recommendation are effectively communicated and documented. We also only use NATA accredited laboratories, so you can be confident in the results of our dust and noise monitoring.