Hearing Conservation Amendment

Last Updated: June 29, 2018

Definition - What does Hearing Conservation Amendment mean?

The hearing conservation amendment to OSHA's Occupational Noise Exposure standards that directs employers to maintain a hearing conservation program for designated employees. The hearing conservation amendment details the conditions under which a program must be implemented and the process for its administration. The level of workplace noise exposure at which a conservation program is required is the action level.

WorkplaceTesting explains Hearing Conservation Amendment

The hearing conservation amendment authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to regulate employers' occupational hearing conservation programs. The hearing conversation amendment requires a program to be implemented when any employee's noise exposure during an 8-hour time-weighted average equals or exceeds 85 decibels or a dose of fifty percent.

As a part of a hearing conservation program, employers must monitor and protect employees' hearing. Additional provisions call for regular audiometric testing and the provision of hearing protection equipment and training for employees. If an employee experiences hearing loss, as indicated by audiometric testing, then the employer must determine if it is workplace related. If the hearing loss is work related, then there are other parts of the regulation that must be followed to assist the worker and to prevent it from happening to other workers.

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