SMG announces 2012 award winnersAn Ohio safety professional said winning a high-profile award for a hearing loss prevention program she created has allowed her to build on her success and expand the program.

Connie Muncie, who won a Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award for the program she developed for the Montgomery County (Ohio) Water Services, says the recognition ultimately helped lead to a sustained safety culture for the company.

The Safe-in-Sound Award was created by a partnership of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA). Its objectives are to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements in hearing loss prevention and to facilitate the sharing of leading edge best practices.

After winning the award, Muncie was given the responsibility for establishing and managing a safety program that included a hearing loss prevention program for Montgomery County Solid Waste Services.

"Anyone who has managed safety for such an operation knows what a unique challenge that can pose," Muncie said. "That endeavor was both wonderfully challenging and rewarding for all involved. I was able to leverage the success gained in the Water Services endeavor to have the latitude and resources to implement some very creative ideas in creating the Solid Waste Services program with the help of the fantastic employees and management at that organization, too.

"In the end, all the hard work paid off and a positive hearing loss prevention program featuring some very interesting engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment controls was successfully implemented for that organization."

Muncie shared her experience at the 2012 National Hearing Conservation Association Annual Conference.

She pointed out that the positive safety culture at the company benefits customers in addition to protecting employees, since fewer injuries result in lower costs for services.

Information about the Safe-in-Sound awards is available here: