OSHA withdraws noise reduction proposal

In response to strong opposition by the business community, including members of the Kentucky Chamber, OSHA withdrew its onerous noise reduction proposal that would have required many businesses to develop administrative or engineering controls in place of personal protection equipment (e.g. ear plugs, ear muffs, etc.). Such a change would have substantially increased costs for business without proof that it resulted in a measurable improvement in hearing protection.  In a statement, OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels acknowledged the shortfalls of the proposal and said there was more work to be done:

… it is clear from the concerns raised about this proposal that addressing this problem requires much more public outreach and many more resources than we had originally anticipated. We are sensitive to the possible costs associated with improving worker protection and have decided to suspend work on this proposed modification while we study other approaches to abating workplace noise hazards.

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