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Safe-in-Sound Award for Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention

Hearing loss is a major health and quality-of-life problem in the United States; hearing loss is the second most self reported ailment after back problems. One way to tackle this problem is to reward companies that have excellent programs for preventing hearing loss, that recognize that mere compliance with regulations wont prevent hearing loss, but will only document its progression, and that have redirected their programs to promote best practices and strive to eliminate hearing loss from work-related noise exposures.

Toward this end, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), has established a new award to be given each year to the companies or organizations that exemplify Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention. This prestigious award is called Safe in Sound and will be first presented at the NHCA annual conference during February 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. One award will be given in each of the following economic sectors: manufacturing, services, and construction. An additional award will be given for an innovation in hearing loss prevention, which could be anything from a new product, training program, software program or other new and effective idea. This award will recognize an organization from any economic sector for their dedication to fostering and implementing new and unique advances in the prevention of hearing loss that other companies or organizations may adopt.

The objectives of these awards are to nationally recognize organizations that document measurable achievements in hearing loss prevention programs, obtain information on their real-world successes, and widely disseminate information on how others can use these successful strategies or benchmark their own programs.

A website, www.safeinsound.us, has been established to provide more information on the award and to provide specifics on how to submit nominations/applications. If you know of any organizations with outstanding hearing loss prevention programs or innovative approaches, please encourage them to apply as nominations are now being accepted until September 1, 2008. We look forward to hearing from you.

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