Noise and hearing conservation
Noise is defined as unwanted, annoying or physiologically damaging sound. Prolonged exposure to noise levels at or above 85 dBA may cause permanent noise induced hearing loss. Noise may also interfere with speech communication, cause annoyance and reduce the productivity of employees.
Exposure to noise in the workplace is governed by the Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations, OHSAct (85 of 1993) and the Occupational Hygiene Regulations, MHSAct (29 of 1996). In accordance with the legislation, employees may not be allowed to enter a workplace where the noise level is at or above the 85 dBA noise rating limit. Where the above is not reasonably practicable, noise exposure should be controlled through the implementation of noise control measures, including engineering control measures, administrative control measures and / or use of hearing protective equipment.
In terms of the legal requirements, employers must:
Conduct an assessment of potential noise exposure every two years.
- Carry out a noise survey by an Approved Noise Inspection Authority every two years.
- Clearly demarcate noise zones where the noise level is at or above the 85 dBA noise rating limit.
- Implement hearing conservation measures where employees may be exposed to noise.
- Provide medical surveillance for employees exposed to noise.
OCSA is a SANAS 17020 Accredited Inspection Body, No OH 0110 and a Department of Labour Approved Noise Inspection Authority that conducts noise surveys for hearing conservation purposes to ensure that your business complies with statutory requirements.
We provide you with accurate results that are clearly plotted on noise plans, which allows for easy demarcation of noise zones as required by law. Our recommendations provide you with practical and cost-effective solutions that you can implement to eliminate, reduce and control the noise exposure risk presented to your employees.
OCSA offers the following services:
Assessment of potential noise exposure.
- Rating of noise in the working environment for hearing conservation purposes.
- Personal noise dosimetry for hearing conservation purposes.
- Environmental noise surveys for health, land-use, annoyance and speech communication purposes.