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 4, 1992

Mr. F.W. Lundy
BE&K Construction Company
2000 International Park Drive
Post Office Box 12606
Birmingham, AL 35202-2606

Dear Mr. Lundy:

This is in response to your letter of July 1, requesting clarification as to what constitutes a hearing conservation program under the construction standard for occupational noise exposure, 29 CFR 1926.52.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that an effective hearing conservation program consists of the following elements:

(1) Monitoring of employee noise exposures,

(2) The institution of engineering, work practice, and administrative controls for excessive noise,

(3) The provision of each overexposed employee with an individually fitted hearing protector with an adequate noise reduction rating,

(4) Employee training and education regarding noise hazards and protection measures,

(5) Baseline and annual audiometry,

(6) Procedures for preventing further occupational hearing loss by an employee whenever such an event has been identified.

(7) Recording Keeping

Every construction industry employer's hearing conservation program must incorporate as many of the above elements as are feasible.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs