Noise management systems

Article published in the Regulator | Issue 3: 2017 

Over the past four years, NOPSEMA has focused on noise management arrangements at offshore petroleum facilities to ensure any health risks from noise exposure are reduced. NOPSEMA’s inspections have identified a series of common deficiencies in some operators’ noise management arrangements:

  • no noise policy

  • no noise control plan

  • no health risk assessments

  • no assessment for some work groups e.g. surface preparation and ultra-high pressure blasters

  • no noise hazard register

  • failure to close out noise survey recommendations

  • lack of maintenance and inspection programs for noise control equipment

  • noise hazard training does not fulfil the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Occupational Noise

  • no re-evaluation of noise levels following actions to attenuate noise

  • noise management plans executed ineffectively

  • auditing program not established.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Safety) Regulations 2009 require the operator to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of persons at or near a facility. This includes any risks to health that may arise through exposure to noise. Operators are reminded that they need to manage noise exposure exceeding the standard in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Code of Practice for Occupational Noise [NOHSC:2009 (2004)].