Occupational Noise Standards

The 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act sets permissible limits on noise exposure for most commercial and industrial settings. Table 4.4.2 presents these limits. Exposure to impulsive or impact noise should not exceed a peak sound pressure of 140 dB. When a worker is exposed daily to more than one period of noise at different levels, these noise exposures can be compared to the standards in Table 4.4.2 by adding the ratio of the time allowed at the noise level to the time of exposure at that level for each period. If that sum is greater than one, then the mixed exposure exceeds the standards.

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