Federal agencies Hearing conservation Workplace exposures Hearing loss Military

Navy researcher wins NIOSH’s annual Safe-in-Sound award

sailor-hearing test
Official U.S. Navy file photo of a sailor participating in an annual hearing test. Photo: U.S. Navy

Dallas — Navy researcher Kurt Yankaskas is the recipient of the 2019 NIOSH Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award, presented Feb. 9 at the National Hearing Conservation Association’s annual conference.

The award honors people and organizations that implement effective practices or innovations to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus among workers exposed to noise hazards. NHCA presented the award in partnership with the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation.

Yankaskas, program management officer of the Office of Naval Research’s Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Research Program in Arlington, VA, oversees a portfolio that has developed innovative approaches to help reduce noise exposure among Navy personnel.


In addition to funding research, the NIHL program evaluates and implements the solutions it has developed. The program’s work includes noise control for ships, aircraft and equipment; noise-induced hearing loss surveillance and risk evaluation; medical treatment of noise-induced hearing loss; and improved hearing protection for Navy personnel. NIHL developed the Warfighter’s Hearing Health Instructional Primer app and Designer Noise, a program for computer-aided design of ships to include noise control features.

“The spectrum of activity conducted by his program, the resourcefulness demonstrated and the hands-on focus on evaluation exemplifies what needs to be done when it comes to preventing hearing loss among any type of worker in any industry,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in a Feb. 7 press release.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)