In Western Australia, WorkCover WA have legislation in place that makes it compulsory for workers in a prescribed workplace to have an initial baseline audiometric hearing test within twelve months of commencing their employment.
What is a prescribed workplace?
WorkCover WA define a prescribed workplace as a “workplace where workers receive or are likely to receive a representative daily noise dose of 90dB(A) or above in an eight-hour day” or if a prescribed workplace “noise exposure peaks at 140dB(lin) at any time.” Further information on prescribed workplaces can be found here.
What’s the difference between a Screening Audiometry, Occupational Noise Management Testing, and a WorkCover WA Legislative Baseline Audiometry (LBA)?
Each Audiometry test is required dependent on the company and legislative guidelines. See below further information for each test, and download the Audiometry Assessments – Compared poster below for a quick and easy comparison.
A Screening Audiometry, also known as a Pure Tone Audiometry, is our standard hearing test that we offer at Sonic HealthPlus. It can be used to indicate whether the worker has adequate hearing for their role. Where possible, it is recommended that candidates undergoing a Pure Tone Audiometry test avoid noise >85dBA for at least 16 hours prior to their appointment. There is no legislative requirement for this testing to be done as it is up to the workplace to decide if this is something that their company requires. Every Sonic HealthPlus location is able to provide this service.
Occupational Noise Management
Occupational Noise Management testing is a legislative testing required for workplaces that have noise levels over 85 decibels over an 8-hour period. There are two different types of Occupational Noise Management Audiometry tests – Reference and Monitoring. Reference tests are the initial audiometry screening that workers undergo at the start of their employment. Reference tests also require 16 hours of quiet time prior to assessment. Monitoring tests are repeated at least every two years to check for hearing loss and mitigate hazardous noise in the workplace. Undergoing 16 hours of quiet time is not mandatory prior to testing for monitoring tests. Only locations with trained officers are able to perform this testing. Please check with your Client Partner or nearest clinic as to whether this is something they can offer.
WorkCover WA LBA
A WorkCover WA Legislative Baseline Audio (LBA) is mandatory testing for workers in a prescribed workplace in Western Australia. All workers in a prescribed workplace, whether directly exposed to noise or not, must have a LBA test. Some workers may also be required to do Occupational Noise Management Audiometry. After initial baseline testing, workers have the right to request a WorkCover WA LBA test annually. WorkCover WA LBA testing requires that candidates have 16 hours of quiet time prior to assessment.
A WorkCover WA LBA test must be performed by a trained WorkCover WA Audiometric officer. The results of this testing must then be assessed against Waugh Macrae. Please check with your Client Partner or nearest clinic as to whether this is something they can offer.