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 14, 1989

Mr. John R. Majka
5917 Six Mile Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40218

Dear Mr. Majka:

This is an interim response to your letter of November 8, concerning a noise inspection conducted at Robben's Roost, Louisville, Kentucky.

I have referred your letter to Bruce Hillenbrand, Director, Directorate of Federal-State Operations. He is in the process of gathering information to comply with your request. As soon as he receives the information, he will contact you.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

November 8, 1989

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Washington, DC

Reference: Robben's Roost
Six Mile Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

Dear Sir:

I believe that the referenced business is generating noises in excess of prescribed limits. The manager claims that OSHA has checked the noise levels and found them to be acceptable. I believe that the inspection was made at the wrong time. The inspection should have been made between 11:00 PM Sunday night to 1:00 AM Monday morning. The sound levels at other times are, probably, within acceptable limits.

I live across the street from the building at a distance of about 200 yards from the building yet we hear the music in our living room over normal conversation and our television. Upstairs, we hear the music and voice of the disk jocky/announcer with only some slight distortion. In our backyard, the music and voices are quite clear. We have a brick colonial house. Our storm windows are kept closed because we have central heat and air conditioning. In addition we have curtains and drapes over the windows. Yet the music and voices come through.

The noise either keeps us from falling asleep or awakens us from our sleep. This occurs not only across the street from the building but also to neighbors who live a block or more away from the building.

Neighbors closer to Robben's Roost say that the music, literally, rattles their windows. Neighbors living two to four block away tell me that the noise disturbs them also. I do not believe that noises within acceptable limits within the structure could disturb people two to four blocks away who have their doors and windows closed also.

An additional fact which indicates that the noise levels are high enough to cause hearing damage is that four years ago, I could hardly hear the music when I walked on the sidewalk in front of my home. The noise level has been increasing gradually over the last four years. Now I hear it quite plainly within my home. This indicates, to me, that the employees are experiencing gradual hearing loss.

I request that OSHA re-inspect the referenced business between the hours of 11:00 PM Sunday night to 1:00 AM Monday morning. I hope that the inspectors can be given appropriate compensating time off due to the late hour of the inspection or be allowed to report later for regular duty on Monday mornings following the inspection.


John R. Majka
5917 Six Mile Lane
Louisville, KY 40218