Long periods of repeated exposure to workplace noise between 75 and 85 dB(A) presents a small risk of hearing disability to some people. As noise levels increase, so does the risk. Noise levels above 85 dB(A) sustained over a period of eight hours substantially increases the risk of hearing disability.
Noise surveys are conducted for various reasons. Examples of common requests for noise surveys to be conducted by the Department Safety Officers are:
- Vehicle traffic noise around the school site.
- Machinery noise in the design and technology area.
- Use of bore water pumps during the early hours of the morning.
- Use of air-conditioners in classrooms during summer.
Safety Officers are available to visit the school site to conduct noise surveys. This will entail taking noise level readings from the affected areas at the school and writing a report to the Principal with recommendations on how to remedy the situation.
Remedy examples include:
- Reducing the exposure time to noise.
- Requesting that staff wear hearing protection.
- Placement of thicker glass in windows if the classroom faces onto a major road or street.
- Servicing the machinery or enclosing it to reduce the noise level.