Damage Risk Criteria (DRC)
A damage risk criteria (DRC) is used to measure the probability of acquiring noise-induced hearing loss. It also presents the acceptable ranges of different occupational noises over a specific period of time. The factors which should be included in establishing a DRC include noise type and overall noise level, frequency composition, exposure’s distribution and duration, and acceptable threshold shifts. The time period which a DRC must be set for include continuous broadband noise, a daily 8-hour work shift, a weekly 5-day schedule, and a 15-year exposure.
One example of a DRC is that of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which specifies that no noise exposure which leads to hearing loss is acceptable and that the criteria for hear loss should be set at 4000 Hz.