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Safe Environments were engaged by a metal fabrication company in Tamworth to provide onsite audiometric testing for its employees. The audiometric testing or hearing tests were undertaken due to recent changes in the NSW State based Occupational Health and Safety legislation. The NSW Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires audiometric testing be conducted. This is stated at Clause 58 and the audiometric testing is required within 3 months of starting work in the noisy job and at least every two years.

Tamworth is in the New England region of New South Wales being inland from Port Macquarie, approximately 280 km and it is also not far from Armidale, some 105 105 km.  The population of Tamworth is around 50,000 people and is home to farming and manufacturing which are noise producing industries where people are at risk of Noise Induced Hearing Loss. As well as Tamworth, Safe Environments can undertake audiometric testing at the townships of Coonabarabran, Quirindi, Armidale, Narrabri, Walcha, Gunnedah Barraba, Moree & Nundle townships.

The metal fabrication company was using hearing protection to control the effect of loud noises that may be over the prescribed limit of 85 dB(A) over an eight hour period or impact noises over 140 dB(C). In these cases where there is high impact noises a Class 5 personal Hearing protection device is required to reduce the potential for acoustic shock.

Employees who wear Personal Hearing Protection (PHP) require audiometric testing to ensure that the hearing protection is effective and that there are no signs of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). If the hearing protection is not adequate or not being worn properly then a threshold shift may result. The audiometric testing will also help identify those who may not be wearing the hearing protection effectively so that re-training can be undertaken to protect those workers from noise induced hearing loss.

Further audiometric testing with the hearing protection in place can assist to determine the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of the hearing protection that they are using. It may be that the Personal Hearing Protection was not sufficient in the first place. If you are exposed to noise where you are required to wear hearing protection then the employer is responsible to ensure that your hearing is tested through audiometric testing on a regular basis, i.e. every two years.

Safe Environments provides audiometric testing to noisy industries in the Tamworth, Armidale, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Walcha, Barraba, Narrabri, Quirindi, Nundle & Moree townships. Please call us for more information as to when we may be next in your town.

Author: Carl Strautins

Carl Strautins


Carl Strautins is a managing director of Safe Environments Pty Ltd a multi-specialist consultancy operating in the building, construction and property management industries. He provides the necessary guidance and risk minimisation strategies required by architects, construction companies and facility managers to ensure they mitigated their risk to property risk. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings. Click here to know more about him.