As per WorkCover WA regulations, it is compulsory for employers to arrange baseline hearing tests for employees working in prescribed noisy workplaces, even if their workers are wearing hearing protection. In fact if employees are wearing hearing protection it is likely that they also need hearing testing for legislative compliance. We are often asked the question, “How often do you need to do audiometric testing in WA?”
How often do you need to do audiometric testing?
The two main reasons why an employer would conduct hearing tests are:
- To meet legislative compliance.
- To minimise risk of harm to employees
Legislation for audiometric testing
The 1981 WA Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act requires:
- audiometric testing must be provided within 12 months of an employee starting work in a prescribed (noisy) workplace, and
- annual audiometric tests if requested by employees working in prescribed workplaces
New WHS harmonised legislation (not required in WA yet) also requires
- hearing testing at least every two years for employees who require hearing protection while working, and
- when reasonably requested by a health and safety representative of the employee’s designated work group.
- High risk groups may require more frequent audiometric testing to manage their increased risk of noise induced hearing loss
The Australian Code of Practice recommends regular (annual) hearing tests for employees exposed to hazardous noise (>85dB) in the workplace
The 1984 OH&S Act (“Duty of Care”) requires employers to monitor employees well-being in relation to hazard exposure. Employees exposed to the hazard of noise can suffer Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) which is compensable by the employer after a 10% loss. To avoid this possibility and to ensure the well-being of employees, many companies undertake risk management audiometric assessments on an annual basis.
By comparing hearing test results overtime small changes can be identified and utilised to trigger intervention strategies (such as PPE use, behaviour review & modification). CHP provides this service, with reporting, as standard practice for clients undertaking regular testing. Find out more…
Requirements for audiometric testing
When providing audiometric testing for employees, it is recommended that employers ensure the service provider complies with the relevant requirements of AS/NZS 1269.4:2005 – Occupational noise management – Auditory assessment. This is to ensure testing is accurate and carried out by an appropriate person. All of CHP’s audiometric testing meets these standards.
Questions all employers should be able to answer
- Are you a prescribed workplace, as outlined by WorkCover WA
- Do you know how often you are currently doing audiometric testing in your business or department?
- Have all of your employees had a baseline hearing test, registered with WorkCover WA?
- Are you measuring any change in hearing of your employees over time so you can manage their risk of noise induced hearing loss and potential workers compensation claims?
Audiometric test reports
CHP provides a comprehensive range of audiometric reporting, including the ability to compare % hearing loss over time by department, role and/or worker. These reports can be provided after each round of testing, and as requested if we have your history of audiometric testing on file, or conduct your regular hearing testing. To enable health surveillance of your audiometric testing program, we can add your previous data if required.
Please contact us to see examples of our audiometric reporting capabilities. Our onsite audiometric testing service also includes a reminder recall management system to remind you when your next audiometric testing is due.