The Government of Quebec is making changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, which will come into force on June 16, 2023. These measures aim to protect workers because excessive noise exposure can cause increased stress, fatigue, increased work accidents and disabilities such as deafness.
Did you know that your workplace is already subject to noise exposure laws? Employers with 50 or more employees have an obligation to measure these sound levels every year, and to put in place solutions to keep workers’ exposure to noise within healthy limits. In June 2022, the Quebec government lowered the maximum acceptable noise exposure value in the workplace. This level is now 85 dBA (instead of 90) for a reference period of 8 hours, a common duration of the working day. Furthermore, the measurements must follow the international standard ISO 9612:2009 – Determination of occupational noise exposure.
Note that when noise exposure increases by 3dBA, the maximum acceptable durations are halved. If a worker is exposed to different levels of noise during a working day, an “equivalent level” is calculated from the levels and durations of each type of activity – to be compared to the maximum sound exposure thresholds.
Finally, solutions must be implemented to minimize the impact of noise on the health of workers: reduction of noise at the source, isolation / enclosure of sources, individual protection equipement, signage, etc.
Let’s build together safe, healthy and pleasant work environments for everyone!