New Rules for Noise Protection at All Ontario Workplaces - As of July 1, 2016

The new Regulation (381/15) replaces noise protection requirements currently in the regulations for Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants, and Oil and Gas-Offshore.  Those regulations apply to many – but not all – Ontario employers.   The noise obligations will be new for employers with the following types of workplaces:  
  1. construction projects
  2. health care facilities
  3. schools
  4. farming operations
  5. fire services
  6. police services
  7. amusement parks
The new Regulation’s basic requirements are:     -Employers must take all measures reasonably necessary in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to hazardous sound levels.  

-The noise-protection measures must “include the provision and use of engineering controls, work practices” and, where required (and permitted), hearing protection devices.

-In general, every employer must ensure that “no worker is exposed to a sound level greater than an equivalent sound exposure level of 85 dBA, Lex,8” (as calculated according to the Regulation) without requiring workers to wear hearing protection devices.

-Hearing-protection devices are a secondary (not primary) noise-protection solution and will be permitted in only certain listed circumstances.

-Employers must, where practicable, post a warning sign at every approach to an area where the sound level regularly exceeds 85.

-Employers who provide hearing-protection devices must provide appropriate hearing-protection training to workers who use those devices.

The Regulation may be found online here.


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