Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.95
Industry, Labor and Human Relations (ILHR) 32.15
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Occupational Noise Exposure standard 29 CFR 1910.95 establishes a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for occupational noise exposure, and requirements for audiometric testing, hearing protection, and employee training if those sound levels are exceeded. This regulation defines an "action level" (AL) as a "dose" of 50%, which is equivalent to an eight-hour time weighted average of 85 dBA. When noise levels exceed this amount, an effective hearing conservation program is required, which includes as a minimum:
|Noise monitoring||29 CFR 1910.95(d)(e)(f)|
|Audiometric testing||29 CFR 1910.95(g)(h)|
|Hearing protectors||29 CFR 1910.95(i)(j)|
|Education and training||29 CFR 1910.95(k)(1)|
|Recordkeeping||29 CFR 1910.95(m)|
Note: The OSHA regulation only indicates a minimum level of hearing protection and focuses on permanent hearing loss. Short durations of noise, especially sharp bursts of noise at these levels can not only induce hearing loss but can also affect an employee's health and safety in other ways (See Table below).
29CFR 1910.95 Table G-16(a)
|Duration (Hours)||Sound Level Slow Response|
Occupational noise can cause hearing loss, and increase the worker's susceptibility to other workplace problems including physical and psychological disorders, interference with speech and communication, and disruption of job performance associated with excessive noise intensities. This exposure to noise produces hearing loss of a neural type involving injury to the inner ear hair cells. The loss of hearing may be temporary or permanent. Brief exposure causes a temporary loss. Repeated exposure to high noise levels will cause a permanent loss.Permanent hearing loss is preventable with the continued use of proper hearing protection and reduction of workplace noise levels to below 85 decibels. This will benefit not only employees who can listen and communicate well throughout their lifetimes, but also helps the employer in terms of reduced exposure to hearing loss compensation claims and a potential for increased general safety and job performance.
The administration of this program will be the responsibility of (Position designated)
Administrative responsibilities include:
Noise exposure measurements will be conducted whenever exposures are expected to be between 80dBA and 130 dBAThis monitoring will be coordinated by the Director of Risk Management and Safety with assistance from the Campus Engineer. The results of the noise exposure measurements will be recorded on Form #1.
An annual training program for affected employees will be conducted by (Position designated) and will include information on:
Form #4 will be sued to record the training dates and the employees in attendance.
Noise exposure measurement records will be retained for two years.Audiometric test records will be retained for the duration of the affected workers employment plus thirty years
At least annually, the Hearing Protection Program will be evaluated by the Director of Risk Management and Safety using a Program Evaluation Checklist (See Form #5). After the evaluation, the changes/revisions to the program deemed necessary will be made as soon as possible.This written program may be adapted to fit the particular needs of your facility
Form #1: Noise Exposure Measurements
Form #2: Sample Standard Threshold Shift (STS) Letter
Form #3: Hearing Protection Equipment Summary
Form #4: Hearing Conservation Training Record
Form #5: Annual Hearing Conservation Program Evaluation