Injury management

Western Australian audiometry legislation change – what you need to know

The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, which is governed by WorkCover WA, requires a legislated baseline audiometry test to be provided by all employers to employees exposed to noise in the workplace, and has set new noise exposure standards and timeframes for testing.

This legislation changed in March 2024 to align with national work health and safety regulation.

The new legislation

Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 came into effect on 31st March 2024 mandating that all employers must provide occupational noise audiometry for Western Australian employees who require hearing protection against noise that exceeds the following exposure standards:

  1. Eight hour equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure above 85dB (A)
  2. C-weighted peak sound pressure above 140Db (C)

The audiometric testing must be undertaken for workers:

  • Within three months of an employee commencing work; and
  • At least every two years thereafter. More frequent audiometric testing may be needed if exposures are at a high level which is equal to or greater than 100 dB (A).

The new testing requirements under this regulation aims to safeguard workers where mandatory preliminary testing is removed from the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

A grace period has been granted from March 2024 until 1st July 2024, where previous workplace hearing tests can continue to be provided by a WorkCover WA registered audiometric officer (such as Konekt), utilising approved protocols, test environment (audio booth) and equipment.

Konekt’s Perth office will continue to conduct this hearing test until Friday 29th June 2024.

From 1 July 2024, this hearing test will no longer be available and we will deliver audiometry assessments in line with the new legislation.

Konekt audiometry assessments

Konekt will provide audiometry assessments which meet the AS/NZS 1269.4 Occupational Noise Management Audiometry standard as specified in the Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 and highlighted above.

These assessments will continue to operate out of our Perth and Joondalup offices.

What you need to do

As a Person Conducting a Business (PCBU), you have the responsibility to arrange baseline audiometry testing for your employees.

The baseline audiometry test provides a baseline for future testing which can identify changes in hearing over a long period.

Subsequent hearing tests are compared with the baseline test to determine percentage of hearing loss (PLH).

  1. Contact WorkSafe WA (DMIRS – Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety) and WorkCover WA to request previous legislation baseline audiometry results and discuss any additional changes required.
  2. Discuss hearing test changes with employees and how this legislation will impact the workplace.
  3. Identify and assess noise sources in the workplace according to the updated exposure standards.
  4. Apply the appropriate risk controls to eliminate or minimise any identified risks.

WorkSafe WA Code of Practice

WorkSafe WA have released an updated Code of Practice for managing noise in the workplace.

PCBUs are advised to review the Code of Practice to ensure compliance with the latest guidelines.

Latest news and blog posts