Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most pervasive
occupational health problems. It is a by-product of many
industrial processes. Sound consists of pressure changes in
a medium (usually air), caused by vibration or turbulence.
These pressure changes produce waves emanating away
from the turbulent or vibrating source. Exposure to high
levels of noise causes hearing loss and may cause other
harmful health effects as well. The extent of damage
depends primarily on the intensity of the noise and the
duration of the exposure.
This publication summarizes the required component of
OSHA’s hearing conservation program for general industry.
It covers monitoring, audiometric testing, hearing protectors,
training, and recordkeeping requirements.