Identify appropriate controls by understanding noise hazards and risks
Follow a risk management process to help you understand and manage noise hazards and risks from your business. You can learn how to follow a risk management process involving these steps:
Following a risk management process will also help you identify controls to put in place.
Put controls in place
Before you put controls in place, consider your approach to planning and site management.
For example, consider whether your site layout helps or hinders your control of hazards and risks. Also ask whether your business processes, systems and activities help you prevent harm.
The controls you put in place will depend on your business activities and the type or frequency of noise.
Aiming to prevent noise is the preferred approach. Other approaches involve:
- substituting the cause of the noise with an alternative that doesn’t generate noise
- physical engineering controls
- administrative controls, such as procedures and training.
Examples of controls and things you can do to reduce noise include:
- Site planning and management (publication 1884)
- Acoustic louvres (publication 1885)
- Barriers and enclosures (publication 1886)
- Duct attenuators/silencers (publication 1887)
- Mufflers/exhaust silencers (publication 1888)
- Pipe lagging (publication 1889)
- Manage noise from reverse beepers (publication 1890)
- Manage truck noise (publication 1891)
- Vibration isolation (publication 1892)
You can use other controls, so long as you can demonstrate you’ve eliminated or reduced the risk of harm as far as reasonably practicable.
You may also need to seek extra or more tailored advice from a suitably qualified person. This might involve engaging a consultant.
An acoustic consultant is an example of a suitably qualified person. This will typically be a person eligible for membership of the Australian Acoustical Society. The business a consultant works for will typically be a member of the Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants.
Resources to help you manage risk
These resources can also assist you:
- AS/NZS 1269.1 Measurement and assessment of noise emission and exposure.
- AS/NZS 1270 Acoustics – hearing protectors.
- AS/NZS 1269.3 Occupational noise management – hearing protector program.
- AS 2586 Audiometers.
- AS/NZS 1269.4 Occupational Noise Management Part 4: Auditory Assessment.
Reviewed 4 May 2021