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NIOSH and NHCA Present 2010 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards

Work-related hearing loss is a permanent but preventable problem. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™, honoring those who have shown their dedication to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss through innovative or excellent hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment.

The awards were presented at the 35th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 26, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

Safe-In-Sound Group Photo

The award honors hearing loss prevention programs in the construction, manufacturing, and service sectors. In addition, it recognizes individuals or organizations for innovation in hearing loss prevention and their dedication to fostering and implementing new and unique advances in the prevention of hearing loss.

“This year’s awardees highlight how work-related hearing loss affects people across all industry sectors,” said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “The impact of partnerships and innovation in developing solutions and policies to address the preventable problem of work-related hearing loss is clear in these initiatives.”

The Safe-in-Sound Awards Expert Committee (comprised of experts in the fields of public health, hearing loss prevention, audiology, and industrial hygiene), evaluates applicants against key performance indicators. Examples include: development and adoption of new strategies for hearing loss prevention; demonstration of increased awareness of the value of healthy hearing and the prevention of hearing loss and tinnitus; documented reduction in noise levels and hearing loss registered longitudinally; and the use of a participatory approach between workers and employers.

The recipient for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector is:

Etymotic Research, Inc., a research and product development group founded in 1983 that creates products designed to measure, improve, and protect hearing. It is recognized for their pioneering technical expertise, remarkable influence, ardent support, and essential sponsorship of hearing loss prevention research, services, products, and public outreach. Etymotic Research’s innovations have had a direct impact on the quality, delivery, and effectiveness of hearing loss and tinnitus prevention programs.

The recipients for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Construction Sector are:

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. (PB), recognized for their combined efforts in developing, implementing and overseeing the New York City Construction Noise Mitigation Rule. The rule, which is a result of a mayoral charge to update the New York City’s Noise Code and create a new law establishing rules for construction noise, established noise emission limits and mitigation measures for all construction within New York City and also proactively addressed work-related exposures.

The recipients for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Services Sector are:

Associate Professor Dr. Kris Chesky and the College of Music, University of North Texas, are recognized for their contribution towards raising the awareness of the importance of hearing loss prevention among student and professional musicians. Dr. Chesky and colleagues are pursuing innovative research and methodology, education and advocacy to contribute to the success of hearing loss prevention among individuals involved in music performances and practice. Their work is bringing additional attention to the risk of music-induced hearing loss to other professionals in entertainment venues and to the general public.

Nominations for the next awards will be accepted until September 1st, 2010. For further information please visit www.safeinsound.us.

Through research and the NORA cross-sector program, NIOSH has developed a number of resources to assist workers and employers in reducing noise exposure as well as in finding and fitting the proper kind of hearing protection and determining hazardous levels of noise. NIOSH recommends removing hazardous noise from the workplace whenever possible and using hearing protectors in those situations where dangerous noise exposures have not yet been controlled or eliminated.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH. More information about NIOSH can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

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