OSHA’s Region III is targeting noise exposure in the workplace, as part of a Regional Emphasis Program.  Federal OSHA states located in Region III include Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.  According to OSHA, noise “induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases and the second most self-reported occupational illness or injury.”

Under the Emphasis Program, OSHA will be conducting inspections in the following industries, selected for inclusion based upon agency data showing frequent citations in these industries for OSHA’s occupational noise standard:

3089/Plastics Products, Not Elsewhere Classified

3281/Cut Stone and Stone Products

2448/Wood Pallets and Skids

2421/Sawmills and Planing Mills, General

3441/Fabricated Structural Metal

5093/Scrap and Waste Materials

3499/Fabricated Metal Products, Not Elsewhere Classified

2499/Wood Products, Not Elsewhere Classified

3599/Industrial and Commercial Machinery and Equipment, Not Elsewhere Classified

3599/Industrial and Commercial Machinery and Equipment, Not Elsewhere Classified

3544/Special Dies and Tools, Die Sets, Jigs and Fixtures and Industrial Molds

2051/Bread and Other Bakery Products, Except Cooking and Crackers

2525/Mattresses, Foundations, and Convertible Beds

3462/Iron and Steel Forgings

5051/Metals Service Centers and Offices

3271/Concrete Block and Brick

3442/Metal Doors, Sash, Frames, Molding and Trim Manufacturing

3443/Fabricated Plate Work (Boiler Shops)

3312/Steel Works, Blast Furnaces (Including Coke Ovens) and Rolling Mills

2099/Food Preparations, Not Elsewhere Classified

The inspections will comprehensively analyze noise exposures in the workplace and the measures employers are taking to address the hazard.  Compliance officers are directed to sample for noise and evaluate engineering and administrative controls used at the worksite.  Employers’ hearing conservation programs will also be reviewed.

Employers in Region III should take time now to review their facilities for compliance with OSHA’s noise standard, along with their hearing conservation programs, and be prepared for these Emphasis Program inspections.