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Regulatory Information

NHCA Summary of New EPA Labeling Regulation on Hearing Protectors
The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeling regulation was published in the Federal Register on 8/5/09.  NHCA is providing you with this brief overview of the proposed regulation to make you aware of possible changes in the way hearing protectors are tested and labeled in the US.

Best Communication Practices to People with Disabilities
Under Title II of the ADA, all state and local governments are required to take steps to ensure that their communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.  The ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments includes a chapter on General Effective Communication Requirements Under Title II of the ADA.

Clarification of OSHA Noise Standard (29 CFR Part 1904) - Roles of Physicians and Audiologist Determing WRHL
Intepretation letterfrom OSHA in response to a letter from Theresa Schulz asking about audiologists determining work-related hearing loss (WRHL).

Clarification on baseline revision for individual ears
Meaning and enforceability of letters of interpretation; OSHA (2005). Interpretation letter dated 9/9/05 from Richard E. Fairfax, Director, Directorate of Enforcement Programs to Laurie Wells.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Rule on Occupational Hearing Loss Recordkeeping
OSHA issues final rulefor recording occupational hearing loss. The new OSHA form for recording work-related injuries and illnesses is now available. Look at OSHA's hearing loss recordability Decision Tree

Clarification on timeframe for 30-day retests; clarification on line-outs; applicability of 1904.10 to construction industry.

OSHA (2004). Interpretation letter dated 3/4/04from Frank Frodyma, Acting Director, Directorate of Evaluation
and Analysis to Carl O. Sall, CIH.

Baseline audiogram must be revised separately for each ear separately.
OSHA (2003).Interpretation letter dated 5/8/03from Richard E. Fairfax, Director, Directorate of Enforcement Programs to Linda Ballas.

Multiple retests allowed within 30 days if employee's annual audiogram shows a Standard Threshold Shift (STS). OSHA (2003). Interpretation letter dated 8/14/03 from Richard E. Fairfax, Director, Directorate of Enforcement Programs to Joan E. Piosa.

Clarification regarding determining work-relatedness of injuries/illnesses (including hearing loss) in regard to settlement terms of NAM v. Chao lawsuit; OSHA agrees to update its training materials accordingly. OSHA (2002).
Interpretation letterdated 11/19/02 from Frank Frodyma, Acting Director, Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis and Joseph Woodward, Esq.,Associate Solicitor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to Baruch Fellner, Esq., Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

OSHA General Recordkeeping Letters of Interpretation
Includes several letters on such general topics as recording criteria for cases involving workers from a temporary help service, employee leasing service, or personnel supply service; posting requirements; and employee access rights to OSHA 300 Log and OSHA 300-A summary forms.


Mine Safety and Health Administration Information on Hearing Conservation
MSHA has a webpage with a number of useful documents on occupational noise exposure in mines.

New OSHA e-tool on noise and hearing conservation
View eTool

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Information on Hearing Conservation
The OSHA website provides a variety of information on hearing conservation requirements.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Information on Hearing Loss Prevention
The NIOSH website has a large amount of information on hearing loss prevention.  This information includes conference proceedings, best practices, and the NIOSH recommended standard for occupational noise exposure. Other NIOSH resources include:

European Standards

Further to its 1996 Green Paper (COM(96)540), the European Commission developed a new framework for noise policy, based on shared responsibility between the EU, national and local level, and including measures to improve the accuracy and standardisation of data to help improve the coherency of different actions. This document lead to a comprehensive set of measures, including:

  1. The creation of a Noise Expert Network, whose mission is to assist the Commission in the development of its noise policy.
  2. The Directive on Environmental Noise aimed at requiring competent authorities in Member States to produce strategic noise maps on the basis of harmonised indicators, to inform the public about noise exposure and its effects, and to draw up action plans to address noise issues.
  3. The follow-up and development of existing EU legislation relating to sources of noise, such as motor vehicles, aircraft, railway rolling stock and the provision of financial support to different noise related studies and research projects.


  • A website for the review of Directive 2002/49/EC has been established to provide information on the progress of the project.

  • The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has performed the Final Report on the "Assessment of the equivalency of the national noise mapping methods against the interim methods" as specified in Annex II of the Directive 2002/49/EC. The document is available on the CIRCA website.

  • The European Commission is currently reviewing the aforementioned Directive. In the course of the review the European Commission (DG ENV and DG JRC) and the European Environment Agency organised a workshop on 17-18 March 2009 in Ispra, Italy. The workshop focused on the following theme: "Noise mapping according to Directive 2002/49/EC; Target quality and input values requirements" The event was addressing the EU MS' noise representatives, public authorities, private noise consultants and software developers who are invited to contribute to the development of requirements on the input values and their associated quality in view of the next round of European noise mapping.

Learn more about the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work's new campaign called "Stop that noise! Noise at work – it can cost you more than your hearing."

The EASHW has also just released a report summarizing noise exposures and related health effects in the member nations of the EU.

Australian Standards
Western Australia Worksafe has published excellent codes of practice on control of noise in the music entertainment industry and managing noise in the workplace.

US Department of Defense
The US Department of Defense has a separate hearing conservation regulation covering the armed forces. A new report has been released by the Institute of Medicine which reviews noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus associated with military service.

A new hearing conservation toolbox has also been developed for DoD hearing conservation professionals.

US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration
Noise is one of the most common environmental impacts from transportation systems including rail operations.  Train noise can often be controlled through modifications to the trains or tracks or through construction of low noise barriers or berms.  Information on the assessment of horn noise impact and a horn noise spreadsheet model are available on the Horn Noise page.  FRA relies upon the Federal Transit Administration noise and vibration impact assessment procedures  for assessing improvements to conventional passenger rail lines and stationary rail facilities and horn noise assessment.  A supplemental freight rail analysis spreadsheet tool was developed for the Chicago Rail Efficiency And Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program using the FTA procedures.

Other Standards

Visit  a list of noise regulations from around the world maintained at the University of Washington, with links to the text of many of these regulations from around the world.


National Hearing Conservation Association
12011 Tejon Street, Suite 700
Westminster, CO 80234
Phone: 303-224-9022
Fax: 303-458-0002