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Research indicates that between 28-32% of Australia’s workforce work in a noisy environment. Excessive exposure to noise can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss, with many victims experiencing tinnitus (ringing in the ears). This hearing loss can occur either from prolonged noise exposure or one single episode of explosive sound. Although preventable, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss in Australia. Industries most at risk of excessive occupational noise include mining, manufacturing, transport, construction and logistics.

If you are a PCBU in Western Australia, you are required to abide by laws designed for risk management of noise exposure. PCBUs must comply with guidelines set out by WorkCover WA. Please note that audiometric testing is in addition to wearing hearing protection.

Identifying Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Audiometric testing is required for workers employed in a prescribed workplace who are exposed to 90dB or above throughout a standard day or peaks of 140dB. Employees must have a baseline hearing test within twelve months of commencing employment and each year thereafter. As a PCBU, it is your responsibility to arrange and pay for the testing for each employee. The baseline audiometric test provides a reference point for future testing to indicate changes in hearing over a year-long period. Each subsequent audiometric test is then compared with the baseline to determine percentage loss of hearing (PLH).

Western Australia differs slightly in legislation from the rest of Australia as testers must be WorkCover WA approved audiometric officers. KINNECT is an accredited provider of WorkCover WA audiometric testing, with our clinic located in Belmont. Registering with WorkCover WA is a stringent process that assesses the testing environment and equipment of the provider.

Preparing for Audiometric Testing

The method your employee’s use to travel to their audiometric assessment can impact the results outcome. If an employee travels a long distance to their appointment in a noisy environment, e.g. motorbike, their ears will require a 16 hour period of adjustment prior to attending the appointment. It is important that the employee is not exposed to more than 80dB 16 hours prior to the appointment. For reference, this is equal to the noise a vacuum cleaner makes from 1 metre away. If this is not adhered to, inaccurate results may be provided which could lead to unnecessary further testing.

Additionally, if your employee have recently experienced a cold or ear discharge, please contact us prior to proceeding with an appointment. This is due to ear infections having a direct impact on hearing, which in turn affects the accuracy of results.


All WorkCover WA audiometric test results are uploaded to the NIHL portal by KINNECT for confirmation and record-keeping. If the assessment is completed for pre-employment, you must confirm the applicant’s employment prior to the results being uploaded. If an applicant does not commence employment within three months of testing, the audiometric results are no longer valid. A copy of the results will be provided to you within one month once received by WorkCover WA.

Workers Compensation and Injury Management for NIHL

WorkCover WA will advise whether or not further testing is required for non-baseline audiometric results. If the level of hearing loss is at 10 per cent or more, the worker will be required to undertake further testing by an audiologist and/or ENT. Compensation entitlements will depend on the level of hearing loss as determined by the audiologist and/or ENT.


  1. WorkCover WA Noise Induced Hearing Loss:

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