OSHA uses a 5 dBA exchange rate, meaning that the allowed exposure time is cut in half for every increase in exposure of 5 dBA. ACGIH and NIOSH recommend a 3 dBA exchange rate because noise energy exposure actually doubles every 3 dBA. OSHA explains the use of the 5 dBA exchange rate as a means to account for the time during a workday that the employee is not exposed to noise, like breaks. Discuss if you believe the 5 dBA or the 3 dBA exchange rate should be used for controlling occupational noise exposure.

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