hearing protectionOSHA has published a new chapter that provides technical information and guidance to help Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) evaluate noise hazards in the workplace. The content is based on currently available research publications, OSHA standards, and consensus standards.

The chapter is divided into six main sections. Following the introduction, the second section provides background information about noise and noise regulations and an overview of noise controls. The third section describes worksite noise evaluations, including noise measurement equipment, noise evaluation procedures, and noise sampling. The fourth section offers investigative guidelines (including methods for planning the investigation) and outlines a strategy for conducting noise evaluations. The fifth section describes noise hazard abatement and control, including engineering and administrative controls, hearing protection, noise conservation programs, cost comparisons between noise hazard abatement options, and case studies.

The final two sections provide references used to produce this chapter and resources for obtaining additional information. The appendices provide a glossary of terms, sample calculations, and expanded discussion of certain topics introduced in the chapter.

Click here for the full text of the chapter.

Chapter references:

AIHA. 2003. The Noise Manual. 5th edition. Edited by E.H. Berger et al. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Centers for Disease Control. 1996. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss - A Practical Guide. Eds. John R. Franks, Mark R. Stephenson, and Carol J. Merry. NIOSH.

Originating Office:

Office of Science and Technology Assessment, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management