296-817-20005  <<  296-817-20010 >>   296-817-20015

Control employee noise exposures that equal or exceed 90 dBA TWA8.

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.
You must reduce employee noise exposure, using feasible controls, wherever exposure equals or exceeds 90 dBA TWA8.
1. 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.
2. Controls that eliminate noise at the source or establish a permanent barrier to noise are typically more reliable. For example:
a. Replacing noisy equipment with quiet equipment.
b. Using silencers and mufflers.
c. Installing enclosures.
d. Damping noisy equipment and parts.
3. Other controls and work practices may also be useful for reducing noise exposures. Examples include:
a. Employee rotation.
b. Limiting use of noisy equipment.
c. Rescheduling work.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050. WSR 15-23-086, § 296-817-20010, filed 11/17/15, effective 12/18/15. 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.]