Noise protection requirements extended to all workplaces in Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has extended noise protection requirements to all workplaces under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
New workplaces covered by the new Noise Regulation include:

•construction projects
•health-care facilities
•farming operations
•fire services
•police services
•amusement parks.

The new regulation prescribes, for workers exposed to noise, a maximum time-weighted exposure limit of 85 decibels over an eight-hour work shift. It also requires employers to put in place measures to reduce workers’ exposure based on a “hierarchy of controls”, which could include engineering controls, work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment in the form of hearing protection devices.

Employers are also required to provide a worker with a hearing protection device to provide adequate training and instruction on that device.

The noise protection sections in the Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants, and Oil and Gas-Offshore Regulations were revoked. They are now incorporated into the new Noise Regulation.

The Farming Operations Regulation has also been amended so the new Noise Regulation will apply to farming operations.

The Noise Regulation comes into effect on July 1. It will help protect workers from noise-induced hearing loss, a leading cause of occupational disease for Ontario workers, said the provincial government.