The Workplace Safety and Health (Noise) Regulations 2011 were gazetted on 22 July 2011. This will replace the current Factories (Noise) Regulations with effect from 1 September 2011.
The Regulations seek to ensure that all workplaces where a person is exposed or is likely to be exposed to excessive noise, are provided with adequate legal safeguards. The following are the key enhancements:
(a) Expand coverage to all workplaces - Currently, only factories are required to put in place measures to protect persons at work against excessive noise. As the incidence of excessive noise is also present in other workplaces besides factories, the new Regulations will be extended to cover all workplaces. It is also in line with the extension of the WSH Act to all workplaces by September 2011.
(b) Assign duty-holders for the provisions - This enhancement aids respective stakeholders in the industry to implement more effective risk assessment systems for their workplaces by providing greater clarity and understanding of their duties. (Risk assessment is a process of identifying and assessing all risks where persons are exposed or are likely to be exposed to excessive noise, and to take all reasonably practicable measures to eliminate or mitigate the risks to an acceptable level).
(c) Other changes - Other technical changes include inserting (i) penalty provisions to commensurate with the corresponding offences; and (ii) noise exposure level for duration of up to 16 hours (to provide clarity for those working on 12-hour shifts).
The Regulations can be viewed on the MOM website at this LINK.