Excessive noise is unwanted sound that may damage a person's hearing. Damage to hearing generally occurs gradually over a number of years and may remain unnoticed until it is too late.
Exposure to excessive noise is cumulative. If you have already been exposed to excessive noise at work and then expose yourself to more noise during gardening, hobby or leisure activities (including listening to MP3 players at high volume), your chances of sustaining noise induced hearing loss are substantially increased.
Noise induced hearing loss is slow and painless and is permanent. There is no cure but it can be prevented.
The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels. Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to very loud sound or by repeated exposure to sounds at various volume levels over an extended period of time. An example of decibel levels include: normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels, the humming of a refrigerator is 40 decibels, heavy city traffic noise can be 85 decibels, a lawn mower is on average 90 decibels and a leaf blower approximately 110 decibels.
Schools need to identify activities that generate excessive noise levels and implement and maintain measures to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Management of noise should include:
Reviewing noisy environments in schools 126k
Noise induced hearing loss fact sheet 103k
Hearing conservation program fact sheet 137k
Managing Noise in Manual Arts/Industrial Technology and Design Workshops 130k
Hearing protection for instrumental music teachers fact sheet 128k
Portable music players fact sheet 80k
Hearing Protection for Schools Officers 184k
Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work Code of Practice 2011
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Chapter 4 Hazardous Work Part 4.1 - Noise)
Treatment of Transportation Noise in Schools Procedure
This page was last reviewed on 27 Jul 2012