CONN-OSHA Answers Your Safety Questions: July 2024

07.10.2024
HR & Safety

Welcome to our monthly column featuring CONN-OSHA experts answering some of the most commonly asked safety questions from CBIA member companies.

Most of the responses from Catherine Zinsser, a CONN-OSHA occupational safety training specialist, will be on recordkeeping since that is the focus of most questions she fields.

But if you’d like to ask her a question on another topic, please email CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery.

He will treat all questions confidentially and never share any identifying company information with CONN-OSHA or anyone else.


Q: If an employee suffers a Standard Threshold Shift in only one ear, may the employer revise the baselines for both ears?

No. A Standard Threshold Shift, or STS, is defined in the occupational noise exposure standard at 29 CFR 1910.95(g)(10)(i) as a change in hearing threshold, relative to the baseline audiogram for that employee, of an average of 10 decibels (dB) or more at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz (Hz) in one or both ears. 

The employer is permitted only to revise the baseline in the ear where the employee suffered an STS change in hearing threshold.

Q: If an employee experienced a recordable hearing loss case, where would the employer record the case on the OSHA 300 Log?

Prior to 2004, employers should record work-related hearing loss cases according to the instructions included with the recordkeeping forms. 

If the loss is associated with an event, such as acoustic trauma (e.g., an explosion), it would be recorded as an injury with a check mark in column (M)(1). 

If the loss is not an injury, it would be recorded as an illness, with a check mark in the all other illness column. 

Beginning in January 2004, employers must record all hearing loss cases in the separate hearing loss column (M)(5).


For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).

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