OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Noise

Noise

  • Are there areas in the workplace where continuous noise levels exceed 85dBA?
  • Is there an ongoing preventive health program to educate employees in: safe levels of noise, exposures; effects of noise on their health; and the use of personal protection?
  • Have work areas where noise levels make voice communication between employees difficult been identified and posted?
  • Are noise levels being measured using a sound level meter or an octave band analyzer and are records being kept?
  • Have engineering controls been used to reduce excessive noise levels? Where engineering controls are determined not feasible, are administrative controls (i.e., worker rotation) being used to minimize individual employee exposure to noise?
  • Is approved hearing protective equipment (noise attenuating devices) available to every employee working in noisy areas?
  • Have you tried isolating noisy machinery from the rest of your operation?
  • If you use ear protectors, are employees properly fitted and instructed in their use?
  • Are employees in high noise areas given periodic audiometric testing to ensure that you have an effective hearing protection system?