Queen’s Park, ON — Ontario is improving the health and safety of the province’s workers by protecting industrial workers from hearing loss, says Minister of Labour Steve Peters.
“Noise-induced hearing loss is a serious and preventable occupational illness that impacts many of Ontario’s industrial workers,” said Peters. “Our government is taking action to protect these workers by making the first significant overhaul of the noise exposure limits in 30 years.”
Lower overall daily exposure to noise will help prevent hearing loss in workers, which led to an estimated $100 million in compensation costs being paid out by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) over the past decade.
The changes to the industrial noise requirements will come into effect on July 1, 2007. They are expected to strengthen worker safety by:
– Reducing Ontario’s noise exposure limit from 90 dBA to 85 dBA, and
– Introducing it as a time-weighted average exposure limit, which gives a more accurate assessment of the amount of noise a worker is exposed to over an eight hour period.
The new requirements are part of Ontario’s ongoing improvements to workplace health and safety. These include hiring 200 new health and safety inspectors; targeting workplaces with poor health and safety performance records and high costs to the WSIB; and putting in place a new annual process to update occupational exposure limits for the over 700 hazardous substances covered by Ontario regulation.