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Make sure your employees do the following to manage noise in the workplace

by , 20 February 2014
You have a legal duty to manage noise in the workplace. You have to ensure your employees don't lose their hearing because of exposure to noise. That said; your workers also have responsibilities when it comes to managing noise. Do you know what these are?

Regulation (3) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) says you may not expose anyone who enters your workplace to a noise at or above the 85dBA noise-rating limit.

As we've mentioned this duty to manage noise also extends to your employees.

In fact, Regulation (5) of the OHSA says if your employee is exposed, or exposes himself, to a noise at or above the noise-rating limit, he must obey any instructions you or someone you appoint gives him to minimise damage to his hearing.

Here are your employee's responsibilities for managing noise

The Health & Safety Advisor says to comply with Regulation (5), your employee must:

  • Adopt measures to control noise, for example, working in a demarcated noise zone.
  • Use the PPE you've provided.
  • Report damaged, lost or defective noise control equipment.
  • Co-operate with you when using personal sound exposure meters, to determine personal noise exposure.
  • Report for medical surveillance and training. This will assist you and your health and safety supervisor constantly determine any damage their hearing may have suffered, and keep your employees up-to-date with the necessary training.

Remember the buck stops with you when it comes to health and safety in the workplace

'If the courts find you guilty of neglecting to assist an employee injured from noise exposure, they could sentence you to prison for up to six months,' warns the Advisor.

So make sure you have the correct regulations in place and that your employees are compliant. This way you'll minimise incidents and protect yourself from liabilities.

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