Keeping an ear out…
Just a quick note to let you know we’re keeping across Work Health and Safety Regulations with regard to audiometric testing.
Revisions made last year (affecting clause 58.2) will require some employees who wear personal protective equipment (PPE), like earmuffs, to undergo a hearing test which the company must provide from January 2018.
Many organisations that have exceptionally loud work environments already take it upon themselves to get their staff’s hearing checked, usually when they first sign up. This helps create a baseline assessment that can protect the employers against injury claims later.
But Clause 58.2 will soon make it mandatory for this testing to be done within three months of starting work, and then again every two years.
The tricky bit is determining exactly who this clause covers. Queensland recently moved to apply similar measures, and – interestingly, has included schools among those organisations who may need to comply. Exactly why Queensland thinks school staff may be at risk of industrial deafness is something we’ve yet to determine. We’re watching this closely but, as yet, there’s no need for you to take any action if you’re not already conducting audiometric testing of your own.
We’re in constant contact with the relevant state authorities here in NSW, and will let you know in the coming months if you will need to put measures in place as a result of this clause.
Meantime, here’s the direct link to the Safe Work NSW site, should you want more details.