- Standard Number:
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 http://www.osha.gov.
March 5, 1990
Mr. Jere Ingram
Corporate Safety Director
The Clorox Company
Post Office Box 493
Pleasanton, California 94566-0803
Dear Mr. Ingram:
This is in response to your letter of December 16, 1989, requesting an interpretation of the observation of monitoring requirement at 29 CFR 1910.95(f) in the occupational noise exposure standard.
As you related, according to 29 CFR 1910.95(f), the employer must provide affected employees or their representatives with an opportunity to observe any noise measurements conducted pursuant to the occupational noise exposure standard.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) interprets the provision to place a requirement on employers to inform affected employees or their representatives of all pending noise measurements relating to complying with the occupational noise exposure standard. Otherwise affected employees or their representatives may not know about noise measurements before they take place and therefore lose the opportunity to observe the process.
Since the occupational noise exposure standard requires employers to institute feasible engineering controls to prevent or reduce employee overexposure to noise, area noise measurements made exclusively for the evaluation of the effectiveness or need for engineering controls are "measurements conducted pursuant to" the standard. Therefore, employers must provide affected employees or their representatives with an opportunity to observe these types of noise measurements also.
I appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime I can be of assistance.
Patricia K. Clark, Director
Designate Directorate of Compliance Programs
December 16, 1989
Mr. Thomas Shepich
Directorate of Compliance Programs
Room N 3369
200 Constitution Ave. N.W.
My organization recently completed a review of our compliance with 1910.95, the occupational noise regulations. This produced questions with respect to OSHA's interpretation of section (f) which reads;
"OBSERVATION OF MONITORING. The employer shall provide affected employees or their representatives with an opportunity to observe any noise measurements conducted pursuant to this section."
Does this mean that;
1. Employers are expected to inform "employee representatives" prior to every monitoring activity regardless of whether the employee representative has requested this or not.
2. "Any noise measurements" includes area measurements made exclusively for the evaluation of the effectiveness or need for engineering control and not to be used for determining employee exposure. (ie. "A" weighted short term measurements, octave band analysis or sound intensity evaluations of noise sources)
Your earliest reply would be helpful to our compliance efforts. Thank you.
Corporate Safety Director