Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.95(c)

February 3, 1984

Mr. James M. Sitton
Occupational Safety and Health Services, Ltd.
5 Medical Blvd., Suite A
Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401

Dear Mr. Sitton:

This will provide a correction to my letter to you of January 16, 1984, regarding the date by which employers must establish a valid baseline audiogram for their employees requiring them, when a mobile test van service is used.

I stated that, for such employers, the deadline date intended by the standard would be September 1, 1984. This is in error. The March 1, 1984, date given at 29 CFR 1910.95(p) for completing baseline audiograms applies to all employers, including those who require mobile test van services. A company would not have complied with this provision if it had merely contracted for the service by the March 1 date, and the baseline audiograms were completed after this deadline.

OSHA recognizes the practical limitations posed by the use of mobile test vans and the logistical problems that could arise. In the preamble to the hearing conservation amendment, published in the Federal Register on March 8, 1983, OSHA agreed "that companies using mobile testing services to satisfy their audiometric testing obligations...should be allowed one year to obtain baseline audiograms."

Thus, the interpretation given in the second paragraph of this letter applies to current employees of an employer who require baseline audiograms. For new employees, or employees newly exposed to noise at or above levels of 85 dBA, 8- hour, time-weighted average (the action level), an employer using a mobile test van service has one year from the date of an employee's first exposure to noise at or above the action level to establish a valid baseline audiogram. As required at 29 CFR 1910.95(g)(5)(ii), however, such employees must wear hearing protectors for any period exceeding six months after first exposure until the baseline audiogram is obtained.

I hope this information clarifies the interpretation of the standard, and I regret any misunderstanding my earlier letter may have caused.

Sincerely,



John B. Miles, Jr.
Director
Directorate of Field Operations




January 16, 1984

Mr. James M. Sitton
Occupational Safety and Health Services, Ltd.
5 Medical Blvd., Suite A
Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401

Dear Mr. Sitton:

This is in response to your letter of December 7, 1983, concerning the date by which employers must establish valid baseline audiograms for their employees requiring them, when a mobile test van service is used.

The March 1, 1984, date given at 29 CFR 1910.95(p) for completing baseline audiograms applies to employers who do not require mobile test van service. The corresponding date for employers who require mobile test van service, while not explicitly given, is September 1, 1984 (i.e., six months later).

Thank you for your inquiry. If we can be of future assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely,



John B. Miles, Jr.
Director
Directorate of Field Operations




December 7, 1983

Mr. James Foster, Director
Office of Information & Consumer Affairs
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
Room N-3637
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

We are scheduling baseline audiograms for companies seeking to comply with 29CFR 1910, using our mobile testing vans. Some question has arisen as to whether companies contracting for testing before March 1, 1984 will be in compliance even though our mobile van does not actually visit until after the deadline.

Would you please resolve this question. If this is acceptable, please advise us as to the time limits for completion of baselines contracted on this basis.

Respectfully yours,



James M. Sitton


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents