Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.95; 1910.7

AUG 24 1990

Eric A. Sisco, Esq. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius 801 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California 90017-3189

Re: Telephone Headsets

Dear Mr. Sisco:

I am writing to formally respond to questions you raised in the course of a discussion we had on August 21, 1990. Your questions pertained to the general policy of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on product endorsement, and application of the occupational noise exposure standard to telephone headsets.

It has been OSHA's longstanding policy and practice not to endorse any commercial products. While it has come to our attention that some manufacturers may claim their products are "OSHA-approved," this claim is not accurate since the Agency does not endorse products. At this juncture I should point out that while certain OSHA standards and regulations do require that in certain circumstances employers use equipment which has been listed or certified by a "nationally recognized testing laboratory," 29 C.F.R. 1910.7 such testing organizations are private facilities not operated by OSHA, although they must meet certain OSHA-specified criteria in order to be recognized as nationally recognized testing laboratories within the meaning of the regulation. To the best of my knowledge, employers do not need to use telephone headsets which have been listed or certified, and even if they did, such testing or certification would be done by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, not by OSHA.

You also inquired as to whether OSHA has prescribed a separate noise standard that would apply to telephone headsets. As I stated during the course of our August 21 discussion, OSHA does not have such a separate standard. The OSHA noise standard at 29 C.F.R. 1910.95, which applies to occupational noise exposure