Hearing Conservation Program

Hearing Conservation Program

Sample Written Program

This sample Hearing Conservation Program is provided by the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program.  In order to comply with OSHA’s standard for Occupational Noise Exposure, 29 CFR 1910.95, this written program must be site specific.  Modify the template to reflect the policies and procedures at your company.  Since OSHA regulations set minimum requirements, you may choose to add additional information to your site specific program. There is no requirement to follow this sample and its use does not guarantee compliance with the OSHA standard. 

To prepare your plan, please follow these steps:

1. Read the Occupational Noise Exposure Standard 29 CFR 1910.95

2. The following information may be useful in developing your program:

3. Add information to make it site specific to your company.

4. For clarification or assistance, contact the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program at 573-522-SAFE.




Hearing Conservation Program

(To customize, please complete and remove the highlighted areas of the program)


Date Created:


Date Reviewed:


1.Company Policy

(Name of Company) is committed to providing a safe and healthful work environment for our entire staff.  In pursuit of this goal, the following Hearing Conservation Program is provided for all workers whose noise exposures equals or exceeds an action level of 85 decibels for an eight-hour day or a noise dose of 50%.  This Hearing Conservation Program has been developed in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations 29 CFR 1910.95. 

2. Program Administration

(Name of person or job title) is responsible for the implementation of the Hearing Conservation Program.

It is the responsibility of management to protect their employees. Management shall:

  • Monitor noise exposure
  • Institute control measures
  • Implement a Hearing Conservatio Program when occupational noise exposure exceeds an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 decibels

3. Methods of Compliance


  • A noise survey will be conducted to identify the areas where employee noise exposure may exceed an 85 decibel eight-hour TWA.
  • Workers will be monitored in questionable areas with a calibrated audio dosimeter that will measure all continuous, intermittent and impulsive sound levels between 80-130 decibels on the "A weighted' scale (slow response).
  • Each employee will be notified of the monitoring results if exposed at or above the 85 decibel TWA.
  • Additional monitoring will be conducted if changes in production, equipment, processes or controls suggest that noise exposures may have increased.

Audiometric Testing 

  • A baseline audiogram (hearing test) will be obtained for all employees with noise exposures equal to or greater than an 85 decibel TWA. A baseline audiogram will be obtained within six months of the employee's first exposure to noise above the action level. In the case that a mobile van is used for testing, the audiogram will be obtained within one year. However, employees must use hearing protection six months after their first exposure until a baseline audiogram is obtained.
  • Workers will be informed that baseline audiometric testing must be preceded by at least 14 hours without exposure to noise levels above 80 decibels. Workers may use hearing protection to meet this requirement.
  • Annual audiograms are required for all workers with noise exposures equal or greater than an 85 decibel TWA.
  • Audiometric tests will be performed by a licensed or certified audiologist, otolaryngologist, qualified physician, or qualified technician responsible to the audiologist or physician.
  • If a comparison of the annual audiogram with the baseline audiogram indicates that a Standard Threshold Shift* has occurred, a retest within 30 days may be conducted and the second test may be considered the annual audiogram.
  • If a Standard Threshold Shift* is confirmed, the employee will be:
  • Informed of this fact, in writing, within 21 days of the determination.
  • Referred to an audiologist, otolaryngologist or qualified physician for further evaluation. They will be provided with both the baseline and the most recent audiogram of the employee, and the required records on the audiometer and the audiometric test room.
  • Unless the audiologist or physician determines that the Standard Threshold Shift is not work-related or aggravated by noise exposures in the work place, the worker will be required to use suitable hearing protection.  For workers exposed to noise levels less than 90 decibel TWA, the use of hearing protection will continue until subsequent audiometric testing indicates that the Standard Threshold Shift is not permanent.
  • An annual audiogram may be substituted for the baseline audiogram when the audiologist or physician evaluating your program declares:
    • A Standard Threshold Shift is persistent; or
    • The hearing threshold in the annual audiogram indicates a significant improvement over the baseline audiogram.
  • All audiometric testing and evaluations will be provided free of charge to our employees.
  • The requirements for the types and calibration of audiometers, and the background noise levels allowed in audiometric test rooms are specified in Appendices C, D, and E of the OSHA Noise Standard.(29 CFR 1910.95)  The records of the firm we plan to use for audiometric testing will be checked to confirm that they are complying with OSHA standards.

* A Standard Threshold Shift is defined as an average hearing shift in either ear of 10 decibels or more at the test frequencies of 2000, 3000 and 4000 Hertz.

4. Hearing Protectors

  • Hearing protectors will be (1) required and (2) provided for all employees with noise exposure:
    • Greater than a 90 decibel TWA; or
    • Equal to or greater than an 85 decibel TWA and who have experienced a Standard Threshold Shift; or
    • Equal to or greater than an 85 decibel TWA for six months or more and who have not obtained a baseline audiogram.
  • Hearing protectors will be available for use to all employees with noise exposures between an 85 and 90 decibel TWA who have not experienced a Standard Threshold Shift.
  • Hearing protectors will be provided at no cost to employees and a variety of suitable types will be available for their selection.
  • Hearing protectors will be evaluated for their ability to adequately reduce the noise exposures in the work place to a 90 decibel TWA or less (or an 85 decibel TWA for those workers who have experienced a Standard Threshold Shift).

    NOTE: One method for evaluating hearing protectors is to refer to the noise Reduction Ratisn (NRR) listed on the hearing protector package. Subtract 7 from the NRR and divide the result by 2. This number is the noise attenuation for this type of hearing protection and should be subtracted from the employee's noise exposure to determine his/her reduced noise exposure.

Other methods for determining noise reduction factors are specified in Appendix B of the OSHA Noise Standard (29 CFR 1910.95).

5. Training

Annual training will be required for workers included in the Hearing Conservation Program. The training will cover:

  • The effects of noise on hearing;
  • The purpose of hearing protectors;
  • The advantages, disadvantages and noise reduction capabilities of the various types of hearing protectors;
  • Instructions on the selection, fitting, use, and care of hearing protectors;
  • The purpose of audiometric testing and an explanation of the test procedures.

6. Recordkeeping

The following records will be maintained in (Location), and are available upon request, to our employees or an OSHA representative:

  • Noise exposure records will be retained for at least two years.
  • ALL audiometric test records will be retained for the duration of each worker's employment and will include:
    • Audiogram with the name and job classification of the worker, date of the audiogram and the examiner's name.
    • Measurements of the noise levels in the audiometric test booth and the date of the last acoustic or exhaustive calibration of the audiometer.
    • Employee's most recent noise exposure measurement.


NOTE:  You are required to post a copy of the Occupational Noise Exposure Standard 29 CFR 1910.95 in your work place if you have noise levels exceeding 85 decibels.

NOTE:  A Standard Threshold Shift of 25 decibels or greater must be recorded on the OSHA 300 log if caused or aggravated by exposure to occupational noise.

7. Program Review and Update

The Hearing Conservation Program shall be reevaluated under these circumstances:

  • Annually, when the annual audiogram testing is done.
  • Whenever there is a change in production, process, equipment or controls that might have questionable noise levels.


Hearing Conservation Training Roster

Training Performed By:


Employee Name

Employee Signature

Training Date