Canada’s most populous province has reduced its noise exposure limits and introduced a time-weighted average exposure limit, announced Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Steve Peters.

"Noise-induced hearing loss is a serious and preventable occupational illness that impacts many of Ontario's industrial workers," said Peters. "Our government is taking action to protect these workers by making the first significant overhaul of the noise exposure limits in 30 years."

The noise exposure limit has been reduced from 90 dBA to 85 dBA.

Peters said the time-weighted average exposure limit will gives a more accurate assessment of the amount of noise a worker is exposed to over an eight hour period.

The minister hopes that lower overall daily exposure to noise will help prevent hearing loss in workers, which led to an estimated $100 million in compensation costs being paid out by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) over the past decade.

The changes to the industrial noise requirements will come into effect on July 1, 2007.