Federal agencies Hearing loss Manufacturing

NIOSH announces ‘Safe-in-Sound’ award winners

hearing protection

Photo: Leslie Achtymichuk/iStockphoto

Washington – NIOSH and the National Hearing Conservation Association recently recognized two organizations as recipients of the 2016 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards.

The environmental health and safety staff with the 3M Abrasive Systems Division in Alexandria, MN, received the Safe-in-Sound award in manufacturing. Meanwhile, the annual award for innovation went to John Casali and the Auditory Systems Laboratory at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

NIOSH praised 3M Alexandria for its multiyear commitment to reducing noise exposure for workers. Efforts included statistically driven noise exposure assessments, consistent tracking of results in terms of cost and noise reduction, and a dedication to the NIOSH “Buy Quiet” principles. For workers who remain exposed to noise, 3M Alexander emphasizes audiometric testing, hearing protection and fit testing.

At Virginia Tech, researchers are performing work that NIOSH referred to as “critical” in improving hearing protection devices and strengthening worker safety. The work combines human-factors engineering with acoustics and audiology to learn more about individuals’ ability to hear, perceive and respond to sounds.

“Efforts to prevent the effects of noise can be frustrating and while many workplaces comply with obligatory requirements and implement recommended interventions, reports of the effectiveness of these actions are rare,” NIOSH Director Josh Howard said in a press release. “The recipients of the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award are pioneers who invested in innovative approaches – some surprisingly simple and easy to implement – to address the persistent work-related condition that is hearing loss.”

NIOSH is accepting nominations for next year’s Safe-in-Sound awards until July 15.

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