Personal protective equipment poses "hidden" psychological risks for workers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an invaluable opportunity to properly examine these hazards, Australian researchers say.
A PCBU did not satisfy its WHS duty to eliminate or minimise the risk of workers being crushed by an electric rise-and-fall platform (RFP), in a noisy environment, by fitting the RFP with a loud siren, a superior court has confirmed.
Millions of workers are exposed to excessive noise, and thousands of injuries, including lacerations, burns and amputations, are linked to the hazard, which affects concentration and situational awareness, environmental health researchers have found.
A major government employer has been found liable for a worker's psychological injury, after its "messenger" wrongly told him he had been suspended. It was deemed not liable for the man's tinnitus, purportedly caused by the noise of workplace air conditioners.
With noise-induced hearing loss remaining one of the most prevalent occupational diseases, despite regulatory thresholds, researchers have examined the benefits of personal in-ear monitors, and found they appear to improve the use of PPE and drive the implementation of engineering controls.
Employers with "noisy" workplaces have been urged to ensure mandatory hearing tests are carried out by authorised testers, given the provision of inaccurate data can have serious ramifications for businesses and their employees.