The National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) is calling on OSHA to lower the permissible exposure limits for noise in workplaces.
Specifically, NHCA is calling on OSHA to:
- lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise to an 8-hour time-weighted average level of 85 A-weighted decibels (dBA) using a 3 dB time/intensity exchange rate.
- apply the revised PEL to all U.S. industrial sectors, including construction, agriculture, oil and gas drilling and servicing, and shipbuilding, which aren’t effectively covered now, and
- rescind the policy in the OSHA Field Operations Manual which permits exposures of up to 100 dBA without employer efforts to implement noise control.
The current PEL for noise is 90 dBA with a 5dB time/intensity exchange rate.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) have both called for an 85 dBA exposure limit. Many other nations have already lowered their noise PELs to that level.
Do you think the noise PEL needs to be lowered? Let us know in the Comments Box below.