Noise Exposure Monitoring “ O. Reg. 381/15

Airzone can conduct noise monitoring to ensure that your employees are working in an environment that will not adversely affect their long-term hearing.

Environments with high noise levels can cause hearing damage for workers repeatedly exposed every day. In some cases, when noise levels are very high, damage can occur even more rapidly and may be permanent. Damage in some cases is only temporary. Tinnitus or ringing of the ears (similar to what a person experiences at a loud rock concert) is a symptom of loud noise environments and usually subsides after the noise levels are reduced.

In 2015, the Ontario Government updated the noise regulation for the province. The noise exposure limit was removed from the former Regulations (O.REG 851 “ Industrial Establishments, and O.REG 854 “ Mines and Mining Plants) and added to a newly created regulation (381/15 “ Noise). The noise exposure limit remains at 85 dBA, Lex8. The regulation now extends to workers in sectors beyond industrial establishments, and mines including:

  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Schools
  • Construction Projects
  • Agriculture
  • Police and Fire Services
  • Amusement Parks

The regulation also states that employers must provide workers with hearing protection if engineering or administrative controls are not available. Training in their use and maintenance is also required.

It is important to note that not all hearing protective devices are suitable for all environments. Ear plugs (the soft, formable inserts) and ear muffs or a combination of both are available. The noise reduction rating (NRR) value must be known to ascertain the level of attenuation the device provides when working properly. However, recent studies have suggested that these values were obtained in laboratory settings and not real world environments. Therefore it has been suggested that a conservative de-rating factor be applied to plug, muffs, or a combination of the two.

In addition to personal noise dosimetry measurements, we also offer noise mapping of facilities. This will determine noise levels throughout each department and identify noise hot spots.  Signage, warning workers of the noise levels, can be posted at the entrance to each of these areas.