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First Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards Presented by NIOSH, NHCA


NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Bowles, (202) 245-0633
February 11, 2009

Noise-induced 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 first four Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards, honoring companies that have shown their dedication to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss through excellent hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment.

The awards were presented at the 34th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference, held on February 12-15, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The award honors hearing loss prevention programs in the construction, manufacturing, and service sectors. In addition, a fourth award recognizes an organization for innovation in hearing loss prevention and dedication to fostering and implementing new and unique advances in the prevention of hearing loss. Mention of specific companies does not represent a commercial endorsement by NIOSH.

“We are pleased to be able to recognize these organizations for their leadership in preventing work-related hearing loss,” said NIOSH Acting Director Christine Branche, Ph.D. “NIOSH is constantly looking to elevate the quality of hearing loss prevention programs, and this is an excellent opportunity to share new ideas and best practices to help improve many areas in worker safety and health.”

The recipients in the Manufacturing Sector are these:

Pratt & Whitney – East Hartford Facility, CT. Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. Company, was recognized for the comprehensive approach taken, aiming at excellence in every component of the hearing loss prevention program; for exceptional commitment to noise control and for promoting the active involvement of the workforce in their efforts.

Domtar Paper Company, Kingsport Mill, TN. Domtar Paper Company was recognized for the comprehensive integration of their hearing loss prevention program and a demonstrated commitment to extend hearing loss prevention practices beyond the occupational work environment into recreational and community activities enjoyed by their workers and their families.

The recipient in the Services Sector is:

The Montgomery County Water Services (MCWS), OH. Public entities in Ohio do not fall under the purview of Federal or State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but the MCWS proactively addresses each of the components of an effective hearing loss prevention program, often extending beyond minimal regulatory requirements. The Montgomery County Water Services was recognized for the comprehensive approach taken, aiming at excellence in every component of the hearing loss prevention program; for developing innovative strategies for addressing the variable work routine of its noise-exposed workers and for promoting the active involvement of the workforce in its safety and health efforts.

The recipient for the Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention award is:

Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation, Inc., Chicago, IL. Sensaphonics was recognized for being a pioneer in combining products, audiology services, and education to reach their hearing loss prevention goals, for a culture of innovation and educational outreach, and for having raised awareness of the importance of hearing loss prevention among audiologists, the music industry and the general public.

Nominations for the next awards will be accepted until August 1, 2009. For further information, please visit

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. Through research and through the National Occupational Research Agenda (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. For more information about noise and hearing loss prevention research at NIOSH, please visit

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. More information about NIOSH can be found at