Appendix A

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This checklist summarizes the OSHA noise standard. It is intended to assist companies conducting hearing loss prevention program evaluations to assess compliance with OSHA requirements and to determine program effectiveness. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for the OSHA Standard. Items listed under "comments" represent current NIOSH recommendations that differ from the OSHA Standard.


Refer to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a)-(p) with accompanying appendices A-I, Occupational Noise Exposure Standard for the standard's specific requirements: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Chapter XVII, Part 1910, Subpart G. (See also 36 FR 10466 and 10518, May 29, 1971; Amended 46 FR 4078-4179, Jan. 16, 1981; Revised 48 FR 9776-9785, Mar. 8, 1983).

No. 29 CFR 1910.95 Requirement Paragraph No. NIOSH Recommendation

1 Must be provided when sound levels exceed 90-dBA time-weighted average measured with slow response and 5 dB exchange rate (a) Must be provided when sound levels exceed 85-dBA TWA with a 3 dB exchange rate.
2 Feasible engineering or administrative controls for employees exceeding TWA 90 dBA (b)(1) Feasible engineering or administrative controls for employees exceeding 85 dBLeqA
3 Impulse or impact noise should not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level (b)(2)
4 Include employees whose noise exposures exceed 85 dB TWA with 5-dB exchange rate (c)(1)


85 dBLAeg (3-dB exchange rate)
5 Conduct noise monitoring when 85-dBA TWA equaled or exceeded with 5 dB exchange rate (d)(1) Conduct noise monitoring when 85-dBA TWA equaled or exceeded with 3 dB exchange rate
6 Use representative personal monitoring for highly mobile workers, significantly varying sound levels, and impulse noise exposure (d)(1)(ii)
7 Include all continuous, intermittent, and impulsive sound levels from 80-130 dBA in measurements (d)(2)(I)
8 Calibrate equipment (d)(2)(ii)
9 Repeat monitoring when noise exposure increases significantly (d)(3)
10 Notify employees of noise monitoring results when exposure is at or above 85 dBA TWA with 5 dB exchange rate (e) 3 dB exchange rate
11 Employees or their representatives may observe noise monitoring (f)
12 Audiometric testing available to employees exposed at or above 85 dBA TWA (g)(1) Testing required.
13 Tests performed by professional or by competent technician (certification recommended) (g)(3) Use of micro-processor audiometers does not exempt technician from certification
14 Audiograms meet 1910.95 Appendix C requirements (g)(4)
15 Establish within 6 months or within l year if using mobile van (g)(5)(I)(ii) W/in 30 days of enrollment in hearing loss prevention program.
16 14 hour-period without workplace noise before baseline (hearing protection can be substituted) (g)(5)(iv) Hearing protection cannot be substituted
17 Notify employees to avoid high non-occupational noise levels before baseline (g)(5)(iv)
18 Provide for all employees exposed at or above 85 dBA TWA with 5 dB exchange rage (g)(6) Provide for all employees exposed at or above 85 dBA TWA with 3 dB exchange rate
19 Compare each annual test to baseline for validity and to see if standard threshold shift (STS) exists (10 dB average at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz) (g)(7)(I) Hearing Loss Prevention Program effectiveness indicated by no more than 5% of workers showing significant threshold shift (15 dB twice, same ear, same frequency)
20 If STS, retest within 30 days (optional) (g)(7)(ii) Immediate re-test; if retest the same, schedule for 30-day confirmation audiogram
21 Audiologist, otolaryngologist, or physician reviews problem audiograms and determines need for further evaluation (g)(7)(iii)
22 Notify employees with STS in writing within 21 days (g)(8)(I) Immediate notification
23 Actions to be taken (unless physician determines that STS is not work-related): Provide employees with hearing protectors (if not already wearing), train in care and use, and require them to be worn
o Refit and retrain employees already using protectors
o Refer as necessary for clinical evaluations or additional testing
o Inform employees with non-work related ear problems of need for otologic exam
(g)(8)(ii) All employees exposed to 85 dB TWA with 3 dB exchange rate use hearing protection
24 Annual audiogram may become baseline as per OSHA criteria (g)(9)
25 Definition - change relative to baseline of 10 dB or more in average hearing level at 2000,3000, and 4000 Hz, either ear. Allowance for aging optional - Appendix F (g)(10) A shift of 15 dB or more at .500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, or 6000 Hz in either ear; and the same shift at the same test frequency in the same ear on an immediate retest. No correction allowance for aging
26 Each ear tested at frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 6000 Hz (h)(1) Test also at 8000 Hz
27 Audiometers meet ANSI S3.6-1969 (h)(2) ANSI S3.6-1996.
28 Pulsed-tone and self-recording audiometers meet Appendix C requirements (h)(3) ANSI S3.6-1996
29 Test rooms meet Appendix D requirements (h)(4) Test rooms meet specifications of ANSI S3.1-1989
30 Audiometer calibration includes:
o Functional checks before each day's use
o Acoustical check annually according to Appendix E
o Exhaustive calibration every 2 years
(h)(5) .
31 Available to all employees exposed at or above 85 dBA TWA and replaced as necessary (I)(1) Worn at 85 dBA and above regardless of exposure time
32 Worn by employees when:
o Exposed to 90 dBA TWA or above
o Exposed to 85 dBA TWA or above when
- no baseline after 6 months, or
- STS occurs
33 Employees select from a variety of suitable hearing protectors (I)(3)
34 Employees trained in care and use (I)(4)
35 Employer ensures proper initial fitting and supervises correct use (I)(5)
36 Evaluate attenuation for specific noise environments according to Appendix B (j)(1) Derate the NRR by 25% for earmuffs, 50%, for formable slow-recovery foam earplugs and & 75% for all other earplugs
37 Attenuate to at least 90 dBA, or 85 dBA if STS experienced (j)(2) (j)(3) Attenuate to 85 dBA
38 Re-evaluate attenuation as necessary (j)(4)
39 Provide training to employees exposed to 85 dBA TWA or above (k)(1)
40 Repeat annually and update materials (k)(2)
41 Training includes:
o Effects of noise on hearing
o Purpose of hearing protectors, advantages, disadvantages, attenuation; instructions on
selection, fit, use, and care
o Purpose and procedures of audiometric testing
42 Copies of OSHA standard available to employees or their representatives and posted in workplace (l)(1)
43 Information provided by OSHA available to employees (l)(2)
44 All records provided on request to employees, former employees, representatives, and OSHA (m)(4)
45 Maintain accurate records of noise exposure measurements (m)(1)
46 Maintain audiometric records with the following information:
o Employee name and job classification
o Date of audiogram
o Examiner's name
o Date of last acoustic or exhaustive calibration
o Employee's most recent noise exposure assessment
o Background noise levels in audio test rooms
47 Retain all noise exposure records for at least 2 years (m)(3)


48 Retain all audiometric test records at least for duration of employment (m)(3)


Retain all audiometric test records at least for duration of employment plus 30 years
49 Transfer all records to successor employer (m)(5)
50 Noise Exposure Computation Appen. A 85 dBA 3 dB exchange
51 Methods for Estimating the Adequacy of Hearing Protector Attenuation Appen. B Derated NRR
52 Audiometric Measuring Instruments Appen. C
53 Audiometric Test Rooms Appen. D Type 1 SLMs in accordance with ANSI S3.1-1991, Type 2 SLMs designed since 1989 may be substituted in most cases. Test room background noise levels must be equal to or less than ears-covered levels of ANSI S3.1-1991
54 Acoustic Calibration of Audiometers Appen. E
55 Calculations and Application of Age Corrections to Audiograms Appen. F No age correction for calculating STS
56 Monitoring Noise Levels Appen. G
57 Availability of Referenced Documents Appen. H
58 Definitions Appen. I

* Much of this material has been adapted from Gasaway, D. C. Evaluating and fine-tuning the elements that comprise a program. Chapter 15 in D. C. Gasaway, Hearing Conservation: A Practical Manual and Guide, Prentice Hall, Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1985.

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