Last week OSHA abruptly announced the withdrawal of their proposed interpretation on occupational noise. The purpose of the interpretation was to clarify the term “feasible administrative or engineering controls” in the existing standard. The withdrawal came after an outpouring of financial concern during the comment period.
“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.”
OSHA plans to carefully review each comment received, while working with experts to find a more cost effective solution to this problem. Additionally, small businesses are eligible for OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program, which offers free and confidential advice on health and safety solutions with priority given to high-hazard worksites.
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