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.

August 15, 1983

Mr. A. Stuart Heggie
Donley, Miller & Nowikas, Inc.
56 State Highway 10 East
Hanover, New Jersey 07936

Dear Mr. Heggie:

This is in response to a recent telephone conversation you had with MaryAnn Garrahan of my staff and John Barry of OSHA's Philadelphia Regional Office. You requested further clarification concerning our July 26, 1983, letter to you which discusses monitoring procedures for determining employee noise exposure in the workplace.

The requirement for monitoring noise exposure is a performance requirement. Although a technical violation may exist, we do not contemplate issuing a citation under the monitoring provisions of the noise standard (29 CFR 1910.95(d)) when OSHA samples for noise exposure and finds:

1. Everyone who should be is included in the hearing conservation program;

2. Proper hearing protectors are provided; and

3. The employer has a noise monitoring program.

As you are aware, this letter is not intended to give approval or disapproval to the long term averaging technique used by your firm.

We appreciate the opportunity to address your concern.


John B. Miles, Jr.
Office of Field Coordination