Final OSHA Rule on Hearing-Loss Recordability

Jul 22, 2002 12:00 PM, Editors


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In the July 1, 2002, Federal Register, OSHA released its final rule on hearing-loss recordability, requiring the recording of Standard Threshold Shifts (age-adjusted 10dB shift) that have resulted in a total 25dB level of hearing above audiometric zero, averaged over the frequencies at 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 Hz, beginning in year January 1, 2003.

What does this mean? There must be an STS or greater change and hearing thresholds must meet or exceed a 25dB average as a result of the STS. Attached is a sheet with examples for clarification.

Other changes of note:

1. Work-relatedness is presumed if the employee noise exposure is >85dBA TWA-8 hour. It is not necessary for the workplace to be the sole cause or even the predominant cause of the hearing loss in order for it to be work-related. A physician or other licensed healthcare professional (audiologist) may determine that the loss is not work-related or has not been significantly aggravated by occupational noise exposure.

2. Recordable cases must be entered on the OSHA 300 log within seven calendar days of the annual test.

3. If you choose to retest the employee within 30 days, you do not need to record the hearing loss unless the retest confirms the shift. If you choose not to retest, the hearing loss must be recorded within seven calendar days of the annual test.

4. Baselines must be revised for each ear separately if there is a shift in one ear only.

The link below will connect you with the federal register.

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