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NIOSH and NHCA present 2014 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™


March 13, 2014
NIOSH Update:

Press Contact: Nura Sadeghpour (202) 245-0673

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™. The awards honor organizations that have demonstrated commitment and results in the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss in the work environment and beyond, and will be presented at the 39th Annual NHCA Hearing Conservation Conference on March 14th, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Each year participants gather and disseminate real world examples from organizations that have demonstrated the return on investment for noise control, developed and adopted innovative strategies to prevent hearing loss, and created initiatives to raise awareness and provide the health community and the public with tools needed to promote hearing health to all.

“Noise has been recognized as an occupational hazard since before industrialization, and it is still a common exposure across different work settings and industries” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “We are optimistic that the work accomplished by this year’s award recipients will support the advancement of the individual worker, their families, and our Nation’s economy.”

This year’s recipient of the 2014 Safe-in-Sound Award for Excellence is Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Electronic Systems Sector, from Linthicum, Maryland. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) is a developer, manufacturer, integrator and supporter of advanced electronic and maritime systems for U.S. and international customers for national security and non-defense applications. These systems include high performance sensors, intelligence processing and navigation systems that range from radar and targeting systems to tactical ground stations and navigation systems, and are designed to operate in all environments from undersea to outer space. With over 4000 employees at headquarters, NGES is being recognized for their commitment and implementation of hearing loss prevention strategies in a highly unique and challenging work environment. Specifically, NGES has implemented a process to identify and effectively control hazardous noise sources eliminating or reducing worker daily noise exposures, and have ensured that most of their workers are enrolled in a hearing loss prevention program. Enrollment has been implemented judiciously, however; employees are proactively enrolled in the hearing loss prevention program when noise sources cannot be fully controlled. The program components include; individualized training, hearing protector fit-testing and audiometric monitoring to assure workers are adequately protected. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is also recognized for their vision in developing a community outreach program for employees and their families. This initiative extends their efforts to prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus beyond the workplace, and addresses non-occupational noise hazards as well.

The award for innovation goes to Benjamin Kanters, founder of “HearTomorrow,” and an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches “Studies in Hearing,” addressing hearing physiology, disorders and conservation for students studying audio engineering and acoustics. In 2008, this course became the foundation for “The Hearing Conservation Workshop” which is designed to teach hearing awareness and conservation to students and professionals in the audio, music and hearing science industries. Benjamin Kanters is being recognized for his development and widespread dissemination of the 2-hour seminar which has been delivered at 37 colleges and universities, 23 professional conferences, and as an online webinar. His passion for hearing loss prevention is tangible and positively promotes the need to educate the music and audio engineering community and those who provide hearing healthcare to them.

To view the award recipient presentations visit Nominations for next year’s awards will be accepted until September 5, 2014. 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 and our new page on noise control

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