- 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 https://www.osha.gov.
September 19, 2016
Mr. Andrew D. Perkins
4309 Palisades Rd.
Birmingham, Alabama 35210
Dear Mr. Perkins,
Thank you for your July 13, 2016 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter was referred to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs for response. You had a specific question regarding the posting requirement of the OSHA Occupational Noise Exposure Standard, (Noise standard), 29 CFR 1910.95. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. Your specific question and our response are below.
Background: You reference a February 9, 1988 OSHA letter of interpretation that states, "The intent of this requirement to post a copy of the noise standard is to ensure that employees are able to read the standard without having to ask for it. The intent of the posting requirement is met where there is a good training program and the standard is readily available to affected employees, such as through central posting announcements of the availability and location of the standard without penalty to workers' wages or benefits." You indicate that at the time this letter of interpretation was written, the internet was not an option.
Question: Is it acceptable to utilize electronic access to a resource such as OSHA.gov to comply with 29 CFR 1910.95(l)(1)?
Response: The Noise standard at 29 CFR 1910.95(l)(1) states, "The employer shall make available to affected employees or their representatives copies of this standard and shall also post a copy in the workplace." OSHA's policy regarding the intent of posting the noise standard remains the same as that stated in the February 9, 1988 letter of interpretation. This letter however, updates that policy for the use of electronic posting. Electronic posting of the Noise standard will meet the posting requirement of 29 CFR 1910.95 (l)(1) only if the following conditions are met:
- The employer's hearing conservation program training includes specific information to affected employees on where and how to access the Noise standard electronically.
- The link provided to affected employees to access the OSHA Noise standard electronically is not to a main web page, such as the employer's web site, or OSHA's home page, but directly to the OSHA Noise standard at [https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.95].
- Computers are located within the affected employees' work area so that they have access to the noise standard without having to request access to a computer or ask for assistance retrieving the OSHA Noise standard electronically.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when the Agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.
Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs