Occupational noise control in Australia - Its policy and management

Jingnan Guo, Pam Eia Gunn


Noise has long been recognized as one of the priority occupational hazards in Australia. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is probably the most prevalent occupational disease in Australian industries and it is the major cause of deafness in Australia. All six Australian States, the two Territories and the Commonwealth Government have their own legislation to manage occupational noise. Whilst these are not all the same they are similar and nearly all States and Territories have now adopted the Australian National Occupational Noise Standard into their legislation. The government structures and agencies that administer occupational noise legislation are also different in the different States and Territories. In this paper occupational noise legislation in the Commonwealth jurisdiction and in all Australian States and Territories will be summarized. Brief comparisons with legislation in American and European countries will be made. The government structure and relevant legislation and policies for occupational noise management in Western Australia will be explained. The role of WorkSafe Western Australia in enforcing the legislation and assisting workplaces to comply with it will be discussed.


Audition; Costs; Diseases; Health; Laws and legislation; Problem solving; Public policy; Code of practice; Jurisdiction; Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL); Noise management

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