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Noise exposure rules from OSHA and NIOSH

Regulatory groups such as OSHA have set legal limits as to how much noise a worker in Louisiana or elsewhere in the country may be exposed to. The exposure limit per OSHA regulations is 90 decibels per eight hours worked. This is considered to be a 100 percent noise dose. However, workers may be exposed to greater volumes depending on how long that they are exposed to them.

If a worker is going to be exposed to a noise for 15 minutes, OSHA allows it to be as loud as 115 decibels. If a worker is exposed to noise for an hour, the maximum allowable volume would be 105 decibels. NIOSH standards are slightly different than OSHA standards in that a worker may only be exposed to a maximum volume of 85 decibels over a period of eight hours.

The NIOSH noise standard may also be adjusted based on how long a worker is exposed to a given sound. Workers may be exposed to a volume of up to 100 decibels for up to 15 minutes. Additional exposure is considered hazardous to a worker's health. Provisions added in 2000 to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 protect coal, metal and nonmetal miners working in both underground and surface mines.

Those who suffer workplace injuries because of noise exposure or for any other reason may wish to file for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may help to pay for medical bills related to a workplace injury as well as make up for a portion of lost wages while out of work. Individuals who have questions about their claims may wish to talk to an attorney about their rights.

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