Hearing protection provides a barrier to noise and protects employees but is not considered a control of the noise hazard. Separate requirements apply to hearing protection and are found in WAC 296-817-20015
• Reduce employee noise exposure, using feasible controls, wherever exposure equals or exceeds 90 dBA TWA8.
• Once noise exposures are brought below 90 dBA TWA8, no further reduction is required. However, further reduction of noise may reduce the need for other hearing loss prevention requirements
• Controls that eliminate noise at the source or establish a permanent barrier to noise are typically more reliable. For example:
– Replacing noisy equipment with quiet equipment
– Using silencers and mufflers
– Installing enclosures
– Damping noisy equipment and parts.
• Other controls and work practices may also be useful for reducing noise exposures. Examples include:
– Employee rotation
– Limiting use of noisy equipment
– Rescheduling work.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010
, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060. WSR 03-11-060, § 296-817-20010, filed 5/19/03, effective 8/1/03.]