A noisy work environment can damage your hearing and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Businesses have a responsibility to manage noise and people’s exposure to it.

Workers must also take care to follow instructions to manage their exposure to noise.

Noise could be harmful if you have to raise your voice to talk to somebody a metre away or it’s as loud as heavy city traffic.

  • Ensure workers are not exposed to noise that exceeds the exposure standard.
  • Arrange for a noise assessment if workers are exposed to excessive noise (such as workers have to raise their voices to communicate over a distance of one metre) and there is uncertainty as to whether workers’ exposure may have exceeded the noise exposure standard.
  • Eliminate or minimise the source of noise. Use noise insulated equipment (such as silence compressors), enclose or isolate noisy machinery, reduce vibration, use barriers to absorb and screens to block the direct path of sound, use silencers on air exhausts, exhaust pneumatics out of the area, buy the quietest tools/machinery available.
  • Place warning signs in areas of excessive and continual noise (where workers’ exposure is likely to exceed the exposure standard).
  • Warn other workers nearby when you will be undertaking noisy work and advise them to move away or wear hearing protection.
  • Provide hearing equipment, ensure it is worn at all times, and provide workers with audiometric testing. Employers should provide a choice of different types of hearing protection appropriate to the noise level in the workplace.

Your mouth is one of the best bits of safety gear you’ve got. Speak up if you see something’s not right.

He taonga haumaru tō reo, whakamahia: Your voice is a powerful safety tool, speak up – use it.