Occupational Noise Exposure for Railroad Operating Employees
FRA is amending its occupational noise standards for railroad employees whose predominant noise exposure occurs in the locomotive cab. FRA's previous standard (issued in 1980) limited cab employee noise exposure to certain levels based on the duration of their exposure. This rule modifies that standard and also sets out additional requirements. FRA is requiring railroads to conduct noise monitoring and to implement a hearing conservation program for railroad operating employees whose noise exposure equals or exceeds an 8-hour time- weighted average (TWA) of 85 decibels. FRA is also establishing design, build, and maintenance standards for new locomotives and maintenance requirements for existing locomotives. FRA expects that this rule will reduce the likelihood of noise-induced hearing loss for railroad operating employees.