hearing conservationThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), has announced this year’s winners of the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™.

Presented today at the 38th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, the awards honor organizations that have shown dedication to excellence in hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment and beyond.

Noise monitoring strategies

Vulcan Materials Company (VMC), a major producer of construction aggregates such as crushed stone, sand, and gravel, was recognized for its commitment to a quality data-driven hearing loss prevention program. The company provides extensive noise measurement and control training for select employees to function as industrial hygiene support staff.  VMC also practices noise monitoring strategies for mobile workers by integrating sophisticated technologies such as GPS, and video into their noise measurement protocols.

“These novel approaches will benefit other industries in the future and contribute to the goal of eliminating work-related noise-induced hearing loss,” noted NIOSH and NHCA.

Using metrics to track noise exposure

This year there are two innovation awardees. One is Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway company and a leading manufacturer of premium-quality building insulation, commercial roofing, roof insulation, and specialty products for commercial, industrial and residential applications. Johns Manville an innovative hearing loss prevention program that uses metrics to track noise exposure levels along with noise control engineering training.

The awards announcement said the JM Hearing Conservation Pyramid has been “enthusiastically embraced by both plant managers and employees due to their ability to directly impact the noise exposure of workers.” Additionally, “The model is readily adaptable to other noise-exposed industries who wish to become proactive rather than reactive to the risk of noise-induced hearing loss among their workforce.”

When decibels are dangerous

The second award for Innovation goes to Dangerous Decibels®, a multi-faceted, evidence-based intervention program dedicated to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Built upon collaborative partnerships between the Oregon Health & Science University, the Portland State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the program is being recognized for the development, widespread dissemination and cultural adaptation of innovative training strategies shown to positively change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in youth and adults, including occupational settings (www.dangerousdecibels.org), and applying solid scientific and theoretical basis into all program aspects. The program includes science museum exhibits, virtual exhibits, K-12 classroom programs, educator training workshops, public outreach tools and research. Dangerous Decibels emphasizes the need to protect hearing for a “lifetime” and bridges the occupational and non-occupational noise risks.

To view the award recipient presentations visit http://www.safeinsound.us/winners.html.