World Hearing Day on the 3rd of March, coupled with Hearing Awareness Week, is held each year to raise awareness about hearing impairment and promote hearing care across the world. With proper training and awareness, organisations can adapt their workplace to better allow for a more safe and inclusive work environment.
Create a more diverse workforce
Organisations have increasingly recognised the need to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, and reflect this in their recruitment practices. Given that over 10,0000 people in Australia have a hearing disability, it is important that you ensure your workplace is safe and accessible, and that you make adjustments where appropriate to enable employees to perform at their best. Safetrac’s Disabilities Awareness course, developed as part of our Career Skills courses, provides essential training to your organisation, as we move towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
A safer work environment
Hearing Awareness Week also provides an opportunity to be reminded of the physical health impact that workplaces may be having on hearing loss. According to Safe Work Australia, “work-related, noise-induced hearing loss is a preventable but irreversible condition that affects many Australian workers”, this costs Australia around $15 billion a year in health system costs and lost productivity. You must ensure work is conducted safely and appropriate protections are provided.
Under the model WHS Regulations, a business must:
* Make sure that the noise a worker is exposed to at the workplace doesn’t exceed the exposure standard for noise.
* Provide audiometric testing to a worker who is frequently required to use personal hearing protectors to protect them from hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard.
Training for inclusion
Online training for your organisation should be inclusive of functionality that allows for people with disabilities to participate in (for example, closed captioning or subtitles when there is audio). Establishing inclusion for people with disabilities is imperative – often our perceptions are based on a lack of knowledge, uncertainties and stereotypes. It is the responsibility of employers to educate staff through adequate training to combat any ignorance in this area, as well as create accessible training courses for all staff.
Educating staff is great for business
Safetrac’s courses are designed for maximum impact and can be customised to your unique workplace.
If you require any more information on creating a safer work environment, contact us today (below) or browse through our courses library here.