• Noise at work can damage your hearing if it’s too loud.

Sudden, loud noises, like an explosion, and constant, loud noise, like working near industrial machinery, can both damage your hearing. Workers should not be exposed to noise of 85 decibels or higher over the course of an 8 hour day or 40 hour week.

Hearing damage includes permanent or temporary hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). 

In the agriculture industry, some common noise sources that can damage hearing include:

  • chainsaws, which at 110 decibels can damage hearing in less than 2 minutes
  • farm machinery, which at 85 decibels can damage hearing in around 8 hours.

People who work with noise and ototoxic substances (such as solvents, heavy metals and asphyxiants) are at greater risk of hearing loss. If a worker is exposed to these chemicals, the noise exposure standard is reduced from 85 decibels to 80 decibels or below. 

PCBUs: Workers:
As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you have a duty to keep yourself, your workers and your workplace safe from exposure to noise at work. You must eliminate or minimise risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Your PCBU has a duty to keep you and your workplace safe from exposure to noise at work. You also have a duty to take reasonable care of your safety and that of others in the workplace.

See Part 4.1 of the model WHS Regulations for more information. 

For more information:

  • Did you know

    The WHS regulator in your state or territory can provide practical advice, resources and tools to help you be safe when working in agriculture. They can also let you know which WHS laws apply to you.