NIOSH, NHCA Introduce 'Safe-in-Sound' Award

Does your construction, manufacturing, or services company have a successful hearing loss prevention program? Have you or your company (from any economic sector) created an innovative approach to hearing loss prevention? If your company--or one you know of--deserves an award for hearing loss prevention, there is now an award for you. Safe-in-Sound is a new award for excellence and innovation in hearing loss prevention being offered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Hearing Conservation Association.

An initiative of the NIOSH public health project, the award is being funded by the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) manufacturing, construction, and services economic sector councils. The objectives of this initiative, according to NIOSH, are to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements and to obtain and share leading edge and best practices information to advance opportunities for successful hearing loss prevention programs to a broader community. A description of the key elements that contributed to the award recipient’s success story will be disseminated, and the distribution of publications and hits to the Web site will be monitored to quantify interest and evaluate the programs' reach.

A panel of experts has developed the award criteria, rules, and eligibility guidelines for award applicants and posted the application procedures at the Safe-in-Sound site, www.safeinsound.us. The first Safe-in-Sound awards will be presented at the 34th Annual NHCA National Conference in Atlanta, in February 2009. The application deadline is Sept. 1, 2008. Applications and supporting documentation must be physically received at the NHCA business office on or before the day of application deadline (5 p.m. MST/MDT). Electronic applications must be date and time stamped by midnight on the due date.

NIOSH and NHCA say they will maintain open channels of communication between the panel of experts and the hearing loss prevention community. NIOSH and NHCA will be responsible for continuously checking and updating the selection criteria for the award based on the lessons learned annually with the nomination and selection process throughout the duration of this project.

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