OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

March 19, 1975

Leslie E. Anderson,
P.E. Chief Plant Engineer
Blackstone Corporation
1111 Allen Street
Jamestown, New York 14701

Dear Mr. Anderson:

Assistant Secretary John H. Stender has asked me to respond to your letter dated February 21, 1975, requesting a variance from Section 1910.95 Occupational Noise Exposure, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

As you were advised in your telephone discussion with Mr. Ferguson of this office, we cannot consider your request for variance from Section 1910.95. This standard as written provides relief to an employer, if it is determined that there are no feasible engineering techniques available to reduce sound levels below the limits of Table G-16. Other provisions of the standard shall be utilized such as administrative controls and personal protective equipment to reduce sound levels below the limits of Table G-16.

In the event of a compliance inspection of your workplace, a copy of your engineering feasibility study and your plan to abate the noise problem should be made available to the compliance officer at the time of the inspection.

The utilization of administrative controls and personal protective equipment is mandatory until the engineering problems are solved.

No further action will be taken on your variance application. Any questions regarding this matter may be addressed to our Syracuse Area Director, Mr. Chester Whiteside, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Midtown Plaza - Room 203, 700 E. Water Street, Syracuse, New York 13210, telephone: (315) 473-2700.


Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary for
Regional Programs