Occupational Noise Exposure
The references on this page provide information related to noise in construction including OSHA's noise construction regulations, national consensus standards and recommendations from other professional organizations, health effects and general resources.
Noise hazards are addressed in OSHA standards for construction. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to noise in construction. For information on recordkeeping and general industry standards, see the general industry requirements section.
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
|Subpart D – Occupational Health and Environmental Controls||1926.52, Occupational noise exposure|
|Subpart E – Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment||1926.101, Hearing protection|
There are 28 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.
National 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, 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. Provides a detailed discussion of various criteria for measuring exposure limits to noise.
- Protecting Yourself from Noise in Construction - Pocket Guide. OSHA Publication 3498, (2011).
- Noise and Hearing Loss. The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). Promotes hearing protection in the construction industry.
- Suter, Alice H. "Construction Noise: Exposure, Effects, and the Potential for Remediation; A Review and Analysis." 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.
- 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.