Last updated on June 23, 2020
- OSHA: Regulations (Standards – 29 CFR) – Occupationnel Noise Exposure. Applicable Standards: 1910.95.
- Noise and vibration are both fluctuations in the pressure of air (or other media) which affect the human body. Vibrations that are detected by the human ear are classified as sound. We use the term ‘noise’ to indicate unwanted sound.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss. Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year.
- In 2007, approximately 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. Reported cases of hearing loss accounted for 14% of occupational illness in 2007.
- In 2007, approximately 82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector.
- Each of the elements below is critical to understand in order to ensure that workers are being protected where noise levels are unable to be reduced below the OSHA required levels.
NOISE and Level (How Loud?)
A wide variety of noise sources may exist in the workplace. The NIOSH Noise Meter provides examples of some common sources and their expected noise levels.
A more detailed explanation of common terms, good program elements, and implementation steps can be found in NIOSH Document: Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss – A Practical Guide, Publication No. 96-110, (1996, October)