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.

December 13, 1989

Mr. Joseph P. Solari
Business Manager
E-A-R Auditory Systems
E-A-R Division Cabot Corporation
5457 West 79th Street
Post Office Box 68940
Indianapolis, Indiana 46268-0940

Dear Mr. Solari:

This letter confirms receipt of your letter dated July 27, 1989 and the subsequent telephone conversation Mr. Gail Brinkerhoff of my staff held with you on November 30, 1989 regarding insert audiometric ear phones.

Shortly, members of National Office professional staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will begin a review of the portions of ANSI S3.6 (1989) covering insert audiometric ear phones. The purpose of the review is to determine whether insert audiometric earphones meeting ANSI S3.6 (1989) specification requirements and used in accordance with the guidelines in the document are acceptable for conducting the audiometric testing OSHA requires employers to make available to their employees. We will contact you as soon as our review is completed.

We apologize for the delay in taking this matter under review and assure you an expeditious response will be forthcoming.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs