chapter  9
12 Pages

Occupational Noise Hazards

ByBarry Spurlock

In many companies and operations, machinery and activities produce excessive occupational noise exposure, which can have a permanent impact on the employees working in and around the area over a period of time. In order to protect American workers from noise-induced, occupational hearing loss, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated the regulation on Hearing Conservation, 29 CFR §1910.95. The OSHA standard specifies that, where the sound level exceeds an eight-hour, time-weighted average (TWA) level of 85 decibels, adherence to the standard is required. Protection against the effects of noise exposure shall be provided when the sound levels exceed. When noise levels are determined by octave-band analysis, the equivalent A-weighted sound level may be determined as follows. Octave-band sound-pressure levels may be converted to the equivalent A-weighted sound level by plotting them on the graph and noting the A-weighted sound level corresponding to the point of highest penetration into the sound level contours.