Noise Exposure - WCB 7.2
7.2 Noise exposure limits
An employer must ensure that a worker is not exposed to noise levels above either of the following exposure limits:
(a) 85 dBA Lex daily noise exposure level;
(b) 140 dBC peak sound level.
7.3 Noise measurement required
(1) If a worker is or may be exposed to potentially harmful levels of noise, or if information indicates that a worker may be exposed to a level exceeding 82 dBA Lex, the employer must measure the noise exposure.
(2) The noise exposure measurement must
(a) be performed in accordance with CSA Standard Z107.56-94
(b) be updated change in equipment or process affects the noise level or the duration of noise exposure.
(3) Except as otherwise determined by the Board, noise dosimeters and sound level meters used for measuring noise exposure must meet the requirements of ANSI Standard S1.25-1991.
(4) The employer must inform affected workers of the results of any noise exposure measurement and the significance of the measurement to risk of hearing loss.
An employer is not required to measure the noise exposure of a worker if:
(a) based on other information, the employer identifies the worker as being exposed to noise in excess of an exposure limit, and
(b) the employer establishes an effective noise control and hearing conservation program for that worker.
7.5 Noise control and hearing conservation program
If noise in the workplace exceeds either of the noise exposure limits, the employer must develop and implement an effective noise control and hearing conservation program with the following elements:
(a) noise measurement;
(b) education and training;
(c) engineered noise control;
(d) hearing protection;
(e) posting of noise hazard areas;
(f) hearing tests;
(g) annual program review.
7.6 Engineered noise control
If a worker is exposed to noise above a noise exposure limit, the employer must
(a) investigate options for engineered noise control
(b) when practicable, implement one or more of those options to reduce noise exposure of workers to or below the exposure limits.
7.7 Hearing protection and warning signs
(1) If it is not practicable to reduce noise levels to or below noise exposure limits, the employer must
(a) reduce noise exposure to the lowest level practicable,
(b) post warning signs in the noise hazard areas,
(c) give to affected workers hearing protection that meets the requirements of CSA Standard Z94.2-02, and maintain the hearing protection so that it continues to meet those standards
(d) ensure that hearing protection is worn effectively in noise hazard areas.
(2) Workers in a posted noise hazard area must wear hearing protection.
7.8 Hearing tests
(1) The employer must give workers who are exposed to noise that exceeds noise exposure limits
(a) an initial hearing test as soon as practicable after employment starts, but not later than 6 months after the start of employment, and
(b) a test at least once every 12 months after the initial test.
(2) Hearing tests must be administered by a hearing tester authorized by the Board.
(3) The employer must ensure that the authorized hearing tester sends the test results to the Board.
7.9 Records to be kept
The employer must keep records of
(a) the annual hearing test results for each worker, which must
(i) be kept as long as the worker is employed by the employer, and
(ii) be kept confidential and not released to anyone without the written permission of the worker, or as otherwise required by law,
(b) the education and training provided to workers, and
(c) the results of noise exposure measurements taken under section 7.3.