NIOSH logo and tagline

NIOSH and NHCA Present the 2011 Safe-in-Sound in Hearing Prevention Awards


February 24, 2011
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Spring, (202) 245-0633

While on-the-job exposure to noise is not a new problem, it is a preventable one. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), is honoring companies and individuals who have shown their dedication to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss with the 2011 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™. The winners of this award are noted for their innovative and excellent hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment.

The awards will be presented at the 36th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 25, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.

The award honors exceptional hearing loss prevention programs designed to protect workers in the construction, manufacturing, and service sectors. In addition, it recognizes individuals or organizations for innovation in hearing loss prevention and their dedication to fostering and implementing new and unique advances in the prevention of hearing loss.

“Noise-induced hearing loss can affect workers in any sector of the workforce,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This year’s winners show us the power of teamwork and ingenuity in developing innovative solutions to protect workers from the home front to the front lines.”

The Safe-in-Sound Awards Expert Committee (comprised of experts in the fields of public health, hearing loss prevention, audiology, and industrial hygiene), evaluates applicants against key performance indicators. Examples include: development and adoption of new strategies for hearing loss prevention; demonstration of increased awareness of the value of healthy hearing and the prevention of hearing loss and tinnitus; documented reduction in noise levels and hearing loss registered longitudinally; and the use of a participatory approach between workers and employers.

The 2011 recipient for Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector is:

Shaw Industries Group, Fibers Division, Plant WM, GA. Shaw Industries Group, Inc., is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer. The Fibers Division was recognized for the demonstrated results in noise control, hearing loss prevention and their continuous effort to improve the quality of implementation of several of their hearing loss prevention program components.

The recipients for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Service Sector are:

CPT Leanne Cleveland and the Fort Carson (FC) Army Hearing Program in Colorado Springs, CO. The noise hazards of war are extreme and inherently challenging to manage in terms of hearing loss prevention. CPT Cleveland and the FC Hearing Program team were recognized for their innovative efforts to implement the far-reaching programatic changes outlined in Army Hearing Program (Special Text 4-02.501, 2008). Their organizational teamwork and flexibility is especially noteworthy in this high volume, time-critical work environment. The FC Hearing Program has had a direct impact on the hearing status of individual soldiers and their ability to continue to perform military duties.

Nominations for the next awards will be accepted until September 1st, 2011. For further information please visit

NIOSH recommends removing hazardous noise from the workplace whenever possible and implementing an effective hearing loss prevention program in those situations where dangerous noise exposures have not yet been controlled or eliminated. 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. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH. More information about NIOSH can be found at