Construction industry targets hearing loss

Wednesday, 21 February, 2007

Key industry groups yesterday agreed to work towards reducing noise-induced hearing loss in construction.

WorkCover NSW, major construction companies, industry groups and unions will establish a 12-month memorandum of understanding (MOU) to implement systems designed to improve noise management on construction sites, said NSW Commerce Minister, John Della Bosca.

Construction-related noise-induced hearing loss can provoke tinnitus, deafness and difficulty with social interaction. 2004/05 saw more than 700 noise-induced claims lodged by the construction industry.

"This industry accounts for 27%, or nearly a third, of all hearing loss claims but makes up only 7% of the overall NSW workforce," Della Bosca said.

As part of the agreement:

  • Companies and their sub-contractors will implement strategies and policies to identify, assess and control processes and equipment which generate high levels of noise.
  • WorkCover will undertake site audits and distribute educational material.
  • Manufacturers, suppliers and importers of noise-producing plant and equipment will be encouraged to implement design controls to reduce the output of noise.
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