WorkCover NSW has issued a warning to the state’s business to manage hazardous noise levels.

General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson said under NSW work health and safety laws businesses must manage the risk of hearing loss from workplace noise.

“Hazardous noise can destroy the ability to hear clearly and make working safely more difficult,” Mr Watson said.

“From 2008/09 to 2010/11 there were 10753 claims for hearing loss throughout NSW at an estimated cost of more than $171 million to the NSW WorkCover Scheme.

“Hearing damage generally occurs gradually over a number of years and is often irreversible. 

“Hearing can also be damaged immediately from exposure to impulse noise such as explosive powered nail guns, firearms and stamping presses.
“By managing the risks associated with noise, businesses can protect workers from hearing loss, improve conditions for communication and create a less stressful and more productive work environment. 

“WorkCover inspectors can provide advice and assistance to businesses on the basics of managing noise and preventing hearing loss in the workplace as well as who is responsible and how to identify and manage noise hazards.”