Special Topics in Safety Management

OSHA Withdraws Proposed Interpretation on Occupational Noise

OSHA announced today that it is withdrawing its proposed interpretation on occupational noise, entitled: “Interpretation of OSHA’s Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise.” The proposed interpretation would have expanded upon the “feasible administrative or engineering controls” phrasing used in OSHA’s noise standard. It was first published on Oct 19, 2010 in the Federal Register.

In a recent January 19 press release, OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels acknowledged that addressing occupational noise is a much larger task than the agency had originally anticipated:

“Hearing loss caused by excessive noise levels remains a serious occupational health problem in this country,” said Michaels.  “However, it is clear from the concerns raised about this proposal that addressing this problem requires much more public outreach and many more resources than we had originally anticipated. We are sensitive to the possible costs associated with improving worker protection and have decided to suspend work on this proposed modification while we study other approaches to abating workplace noise hazards.”

Michaels emphasized that OSHA is committed to reducing the more than 22,000 hearing loss cases reported in 2008, and the more than 125,000 serious cases reported since 2004. As part of this effort, the agency has made plans to consult with experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Academy of Engineering.

Source: OSHA


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.