Noise Exposure Recommendations
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a regulatory body to the general well-being of people and their environment. The OSHA noise standards stipulate the recommended noise exposure levels to a person especially workers in industries. The ACGIH is an organization of members who have access to the threshold limit values (TLVs), which are guidelines to noise exposure based on current research. This organizations OSHA and ACGIH advocate for noise control measures in the work places. This helps avoid health complications to workers from noise pollution.
These two regulators differ on five factors in their enforcement of noise control mechanisms. They include; OSHA recommends a 90 dB(A) noise exposure limit for 8 hours a day while ACGIH recommends a 85 dB(A) exposure limit for an 8 hour day. This difference is explained with the research levels that are carried to determine the near induced hearing loss where 85 decibels exposure reduces the risk of hearing to 8% compared to 25% from 90decibels exposure.
OSHA recommends an exchange rate of 5 decibels for the calculation of average exposures to noise. It also recommends a maximum of 140 decibels as peak threshold for unprotected exposure. ACGIH recommends an exchange rate of 3decibels for the average noise exposure. The 3decibels average exposure has backing from recent research showing for every 3 decibels increase in sound pressure the sound energy doubles.
OSHA and ACGIH recommend for control of exposure to noise above 100decibels. OSHA requires the employers to control noise exposure through limiting the amount of time that controls are not feasible. ACGIH recommends noise control from the source and not controlling through administrative methods such as workers rotation.
OSHA is a general regulating standard to all industries. It comprises the steps all employers in all fields have to comply with in their operations. ACGIH requires members to buy the TLVs (threshold limit values) which are guidelines developed by professionals based on recent research.
ACGIH recommends improved criterion for threshold shift where an increase of 15decibels in hearing threshold level at 500, 1000, 2000,3000, 4000, or 6000 Hz in either ear. This criterion has advantages of a high identification rate and low false-positive rate. OSHA recommends use of age on each audiogram, which has no scientific backing. It would delay intervention to control and detect further hearing losses in workers.
OSHA as a national body has regulations to check on the noise exposure to workers that encompasses all industries. ACGIH have regulations for their members and driven by recent research they are improving workers lives in the industries. It is essential for the workers to be protected from noise pollution in their work places.
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