The American Industrial Hygiene Assocation (AIHA) is using OSHA’s open docket process to publicly offer support for the revised interpretation for noise standards.

“For many years, the requirement for feasible engineering and administrative noise controls has been enforced by the Agency only when workers have been exposed to eight-hour, time-weighted average levels of100 dB(A) or more. This level of protection falls well below other recognized standards, such as the NIOSH criteria level, which requires controls at 85 dB(A) and only allows exposures to 100 dB(A) for 15 minutes a day,” according to a statement released by AIHA.

AIHA says it supports the revision (as proposed in the Oct. 19 Federal Register) because it embraces the concept of hierarchy of controls, brings the noise standard in line with other standards and places “a more appropriate level of reliance” on hearing conservation programs.

In addition, the addresss a misperception that workers are fully responsible for their own hearing health and promotes Prevention through Design (PtD).

“In many cases, use of engineering controls is a cost-effective solution, as demonstrated through the AIHA Value Strategy,” said the AIHA. The association’s complete comments are available at: www.aiha.org