Exposure to noise can cause hearing loss known as 'industrial deafness'. This is especially true if you're exposed to noise levels classified as hazardous.

The effects of hearing loss can also increase if you're exposed to other hearing hazards such as ototoxic substances (chemicals that affect your hearing) and hand–arm vibrations.

Noise levels can have adverse health effects beyond hearing. Persistent noise stress can interfere with concentration or communication, increasing the risk of fatigue and cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

For practical advice about identifying sources and levels of noise that may be hazardous, all staff should review:

These also include helpful information about how you can reduce your exposure to risk factors.

Noise assessments

UQ is responsible for managing and preventing hazardous noise in the workplace as per the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Noise assessments can help by mapping a noise profile across a work area. An assessment involves testing different combinations of equipment regularly used in an area to determine if further measures should be taken to minimise risk.

For more information on noise assessments, contact the Occupational Hygiene Advisor.

Hearing protection

You can avoid injury and workplace accidents caused by hazardous noise exposure, vibrations or ototoxic chemicals by taking steps to protect your hearing.

The Hearing Conservation Guidelines [2.60.04] can help you identify types of noise and the risk factors associated with hazardous exposure. It also outlines steps you can take to prevent hearing loss.

If you would like further information, WorkSafe Queensland also provides guides on assessing and protecting your hearing at work:

Hearing tests

Hearing tests are available through the Hearing Conservation Program for workers exposed to hazardous noise. Speak to your supervisor about how to enrol.

The Occupational Health Nurse Advisor organises this program under medical supervision and manages follow-up communication after hearing tests are completed.

For more information, read the Hearing Conservation Guidelines [2.60.04] or contact the Occupational Health Nurse Advisor.