Occupational Noise Exposure
There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.
Noise and hearing conservation is addressed in specific standards for recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction employment. This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), directives (instructions for compliance officers) for Construction Industry.
- 1904.10, Recording criteria for cases involving occupational hearing loss
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
For additional information on specific state plans or other general standards, see the general industry standards section.
OSHA Federal Registers
- Hearing Conservation Program for Construction Workers. Notice 67:53644, (2002, August 16). Corrections.
- Hearing Conservation Program for Construction Workers. Notice 67:50610-50618, (2002, August 5). OSHA is considering rulemaking to revise the construction noise standards to include a hearing conservation component for the construction industry that provides a similar level of protection to that afforded to workers in general industry.
OSHA Dockets and E-Comments
OSHA Enforcement Standard Interpretations
- Effective hearing conservation program elements for the Construction Industry. (1992, August 4).
- Search all available standard interpretations for noise.
Consensus Standards and Recommendations from other Professional Organizations
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- A10.46-2007, Hearing Loss Prevention for Construction and Demolition Workers. Helps employers prevent occupational hearing loss among construction and demolition workers and applies to all construction and demolition workers with potential noise exposures (continuous, intermittent and impulse) of 85 decibels, A-weighted (dBA) and above. It was approved by ANSI on March 5, 2007, and by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) on March 20, 2007.
World Health Organization (WHO)
- Occupational exposure to noise: evaluation, prevention and control. Provides an in depth look at all aspects of noise.
- Exposure Criteria, Occupational Exposure Levels (PDF). Provides a detailed discussion of various criteria for measuring exposure limits to noise.
- Protecting Yourself from Noise in Construction - Pocket Guide (PDF*). OSHA Publication 3498, (2011).
- Suter, Alice H. "Construction Noise: Exposure, Effects, and the Potential for Remediation; A Review and Analysis (PDF)." American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 63:768–789(2002). Reports that the highest percentages of overexposed workers in the construction industry occur in highway and street construction, carpentry, and concrete work. Of the approximately 5 million construction workers in 1995, the total number exposed to noise levels of 85 dBA and above was about 754,000.
- Construction Noise. The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR), (2003). Reviews information related to exposure levels and provides suggestions for protection.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publications on Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention, Charts and Graphical Representations:
- Carpenter's Noise Exposures. Depicts noise levels measured from typical tools used in construction.
- Age of Carpenter & Hearing Loss. Depicts typical hearing losses of unprotected carpenters over time.
- Learn More About Hearing Loss Prevention: Noise Meter. Demonstrates noise levels with an interactive graphic.
- Other Resources. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Includes links to campaigns, conferences and workshops as well as links to organizations involved in hearing loss prevention.
- Occupational Noise & Hearing Conservation – Training booklets. School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington. Includes links to a series of PDFs on hearing loss prevention in the construction industry.
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