Have you heard? There is a new OSHA Regional Emphasis Program

Man cupping hand behind ear

OSHA has recently announced a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) for Exposure to Noise Hazards in the Workplace.  The Appleton and Milwaukee area OSHA offices have issued letters to employers who are the focus of this REP.

Here is an excerpt from the OSHA letter:

“Work-related hearing loss continues to be a critical workplace safety and health issue.  The manufacturing sector comprises of 13% of the U.S. workforce; however, this sector is responsible for 72% of all hearing loss cases recorded.  An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

In response to the continued exposure of the U.S. manufacturing workforce to high levels of occupational noise, OSHA Region V has developed a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) focused on noise hazards in the workplace.  The Wisconsin OSHA Area Offices in Appleton and Milwaukee will begin conducting outreach activities to notify employers of their responsibilities under the Occupational Noise Exposure standard, 29 CFR 1910.95...

…OSHA Area Offices in Appleton and Milwaukee will begin conducting enforcement inspections including complaint and programmed inspections based on employers’ North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes…

…During these inspections OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) will evaluate the workplace for noise hazards.  This will generally include a review of the employer’s hearing conservation program, noise monitoring program, employee audiograms, employee training, and occupational noise controls.  CSHOs will also take sound level readings and collect full-shift personal noise dosimetry for exposed employees.  Apparent violations of safety and health standards may result in the issuance of citations with a monetary penalty…”

Here is a list of the NAICS codes targeted by this REP.

NAICS Description
3311xx Iron and Steel Mills
3312xx Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel
3313xx Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing (except 331314, 331315)
3314xx Nonferrous Metal (except aluminum) Production and Processing (except 331410, 331492)
3315xx Foundries
3321xx Forging and Stamping (except 332114 and 332117)
3322xx Cutlery and Handtool Manufacturing (except 332215)
332313 Plate Work Manufacturing
3324xx Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container manufacturing (except 332410, 332439)
3326xx Spring and Wire Product Manufacturing (except 332613)
33272x Turned Product and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing
3329xx Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (except 332910-332913, 332991-332994 & 332995)
3331xx Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Manufacturing (except 333110, 333112, 3331630, 333132)
333413 Industrial and Commercial Fan and Blower and Air Purification Equipment Manufacturing
333414 Heating Equipment (except warm air furnaces) Manufacturing
33335xx Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing (except 333511, 333514, 333517, 333519)
333618 Other Engine Equipment Manufacturing
333912 Welding and Soldering Equipment Manufacturing
335221 Household Cooking Appliance Manufacturing
3361xx Motor Vehicle Manufacturing
3362xx Motor Vehicle body and Trailer Manufacturing
3363xx Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing (except 336320, 336340, 336350, 336360, 336390)
336411 Aircraft Manufacturing
3365xx Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing
3366xx Ship and Boat Building (except 33612)

 

Our training manager, Nick Baus, spoke with an OSHA Appleton Area Office representative about this new regional emphasis program.  The representative stated that there is no current end date identified for this REP, and OSHA’s plan is to visit every company that received the above letter.  The OSHA representative stated that one focus is to encourage employers to “avoid settling for just PPE” when it comes to hearing conservation.

Is your hearing conservation program up-to-date?  Fox Valley Safety & Training can assist with all facets of your program including the following:

  • Written hearing conservation program
  • Noise monitoring / sampling
  • Audiometric testing
  • Training
  • Recommendations for engineering controls, administrative controls, and PPE

Contact us today for more information at  920-830-2882 or [email protected].