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Noise Control: OSHA Backs Down

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Scrapped—a proposed enforcement policy from OSHA that would have authorized citations any time “feasible administrative and engineering controls” are not used to reduce noise to acceptable levels, when it is shown that the controls are capable of being implemented. Several months ago, OSHA asked for feedback on the policy change regarding workplace noise-exposure controls, based on a new interpretation of the term "feasible administrative or engineering controls." Now, based on concerns raised about the proposal and “possible costs associated with improving worker protection” to accommodate the proposed changes,” says a spokesperson, OSHA has decided to withdraw the proposed interpretation. So, under current enforcement policy, OSHA will continue to issue citations to companies that fail to use said controls only when the controls cost less than a hearing-conservation program, or if the equipment is ineffective.


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