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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 19, 1999
The Honorable Robert Wexler
United States House of Representatives
2500 North Military Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Dear Congressman Wexler:
Thank you for your letter dated December 17, 1998, addressed to Mr. Craig Obey of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (OIGA) on behalf of your constituent, June Gordon of Boca Raton, Florida, who voiced concerns about the noise exposures of employees of the landscape service industry. We apologize for the delay of this response.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a standard for occupational noise exposure at 29 CFR 1910.95 that affords protection to General Industry employees, which includes landscape service industry employees. The standard sets noise exposure limits and requires employers to monitor their employees' noise exposures. Employers may not expose their employees above the exposure limits unless they provide the employees adequate hearing protection and assure that the employees use it as required. The standard (copy enclosed) contains numerous other provisions designed to prevent work-related hearing loss.
OSHA has three Area Offices in Florida for conducting workplace inspections. The offices are located in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Tampa. We have enclosed a page from our listing of Field Offices that you could provide your constituent for contacting the Florida offices.
Since the Florida Area Offices are in the Atlanta Region, we are sending a copy of your constituent's letter to the Atlanta Regional Office for appropriate action.
We appreciate the opportunity to assist you with this matter and if you have any further questions, you may contact OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-2190.
Charles N. Jeffress