Occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major compensable occupational disease in Malaysia which involves substantial economic burden. Exposure to excessive noise also entails largely unrecognized costs to organizations by way of increased employee turnover and absenteeism, lowered performance and possible contribution to accidents. The social handicaps of occupational noise-related hearing disorders (ONRHD) are severe to the affected individual. ONRHD are irreversible and lead to communication difficulties, impairment of interpersonal relationship, social isolation and deterioration in quality of life. The family and others who are close to the affected person often experience secondary consequences from this condition. Hearing aid may benefit in overcoming some of the hearing impairment issues, but normal hearing can never be fully restored. For those people affected, a significant percentage suffers tinnitus (ringing in the ears) from those affected people.

The Factories and Machinery (Noise Exposure) Regulations 1989 has come into force on the 1st February 1989. It has been a legislation of noise exposure management and control for industries in Malaysia mainly targeting factory workplace environment.

Due to the rising number of ONRHD cases in industries other than manufacturing sector, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has enacted the Occupational Safety and Health (Noise Exposure) Regulations 2019 to widen the current regulation’s enforcement to all sectors under Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 [Act 514].