Do we have to conduct hearing tests?
We complete hearing tests for at-risk workers every 2 years. We have a staff member, who once was exposed to noise but now works solely in an office environment and has done so for the past 8 years, with no exposure to noise. When should we stop conducting hearing tests for him?
Under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW), you are only required to conduct hearing tests every 2 years if you have a worker who is frequently required to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from the risk of hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard for noise.
The exposure standard for noise is currently 85 decibels, which is a volume of noise greater than the noise created by kerbside heavy traffic.
The requirement to conduct hearing tests only applies to workers who are exposed to dangerous work-related noise during their hours of work.
Therefore, it is unlikely that your worker, in an office, will be exposed to the dangerous volume of sound described in the Regulation. Furthermore, it is unlikely that you will be required to conduct the hearing tests prescribed in the Regulation, as your worker is not required to frequently use PPE for protection from the risk of hearing loss.