Audiometric testing regulations in WA
The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, governed by WorkCover WA, requires a baseline audiometric test be provided by employers to all employees exposed to (prescribed) noise in the workplace.
Workplace hearing tests must be conducted by a WorkCover WA registered audiometric officer, or audiologist, utilising approved protocols, test environment (audio booth) and equipment.
Work Health Professionals conduct all onsite and mobile hearing testing to these strict standards.
WA WorkSafe WHS regs
From 31 March 2024, the WHS Regulations impose a duty on PCBUs to conduct audiometric testing (of a specific type) in relation to workers who are frequently required to use personal protective equipment to protect them from the risk of hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard.
The PCBU who provides the personal protective equipment as a control measure must provide audiometric testing for the worker within 3 months of the worker commencing the work and in any event, at least every 2 years. These new WA Regulations became effective from March 31st 2022. There is a grace period until 31 March 2024 for organisations to get prepared for the audiometric testing changes.
For audiometric testing in WA the new regs state the following:
How often should you do workplace audiometric testing?
WHS Act 2020 and Regulations place a duty on the person running a business to provide audiometric testing for workers who use personal hearing protection:
(a) within 3 months of the worker commencing the work; and
(b) in any event, at least every 2 years
Code of Practice
WorkSafe WA has recently released new guidance on managing noise in the workplace. You can review updates in the 2022 Code of Practice – Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work.
Work hearing test regulations serve the employee by establishing a baseline hearing test measure for compensation should change occur indicating an injury. It also serves to protect the employer against ‘bogus’ Workers Compensation claims. Worker baseline hearing tests done on all new employees can also go some way to protect an employer against any hearing loss incurred at a previous employer’s work site.
The WorkCover WA video below explains the testing requirements of employers and outlines information for workers if their hearing has been affected due to a noisy workplace.
Can employees request a hearing test?
Workers may request in writing a subsequent hearing test annually from their employer. It is the employers responsibility to arrange and pay for all WorkCover WA hearing tests.
Hearing test reports
Work Health Professionals use continuously updated audiological software to provide you with accurate and relevant audiometric testing reports.
The individual and employer copies of reports are available on the same day of testing. A range of other audiometric assessment reports, including reports that allow you to compare % hearing loss over time by department, role and/or worker can be provided after each round of testing, and as requested if we have your history of audiometric testing on file. We can add your previous data if required.
Here is an example of our electronic audiometric reports: