Hearing FAQs - UnionsWA

Hearing FAQs

WA HEARING TEST GENERAL REGULATIONS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Work Health and Safety Act (General) Regulations

Regulation 58 – In effect from 31 March 2024

Why is this change needed?

The changes are designed to replace the previous hearing test requirements for making claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act, which only required testing after the damage was done and have largely been ignored by employers. This new regulation instead brings about an important prevention focused and risk management approach, via pro-active testing for thousands of our most at risk workers, which will benefit these workers right now and into the future.

Who is affected?

Any relevant workers (including managers/supervisors) who are supplied PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to manage the risks of noise and are required to frequently use this PPE due to their exposure breaching the standard.

What does my employer (PCBU) now need to do?

From 31 March 2024, your employer needs to facilitate hearing (audiometric) tests for relevant workers, within 3 months of workers being supplied PPE (if they are not already doing so).

This means any workers currently and frequently using PPE supplied by their employer, need to undertake a hearing test facilitated by their employer by 30 July 2024 for the first time.

What retesting is required?

Initial hearing tests must be followed up at least every 2 years, under the regulation.

What are the benefits of hearing tests?

Hearing (audiometry tests) will monitor your hearing and any damage over periods of time, and help to ensure workplaces are using effective controls to reduce the risks of noise.

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Description automatically generatedHearing damage can have life long work and personal consequences – make sure you are protected!

What should my employer be doing to manage the risk of noise, each and every day?

The Codes of Practice give workers and employers guidance on what to do – whether or not workers have been issued PPE.

There are a number of options employers must consider, such as the design of the work, the equipment that is used, and processes and procedures for workers to follow. 

PPE is also important, but is not the only control to be used.  Often, a combination of controls are used to minimise risk.

What about other machinery/ equipment that can affect my hearing?

Any equipment (known as ‘plant’) you are supplied with needs to be in good working order too – see the Plant Code of Practice.

Help!  My employer isn’t meeting their duties – what can I do?

Speak to your Health and Safety Representative(s) and Union Delegate(s).

You can also contact your Union office for support – view a list of WA unions here.


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