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The deadline for applications for the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award is this Friday, July 13th. Each year the award is given to companies in two categories, Excellence & Innovation. The Excellence Award is given to employers who have made significant changes and improvements to their hearing loss prevention programs. The Innovation Award recognizes those whose efforts have further advanced our ability to prevent hearing loss, through programs and policies, outreach, or unique technologies.
Examples of Excellence Award winners include 3M, United Technologies, MeadWestvaco Corporation, and Northrup Grumman Electronic Systems. Innovation Awardees include The US Army’s Tactical Communications and Protective System, and Ryan Lee Scott, Deputy Sheriff, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. In 2017 Ryan Scott, Deputy Sheriff for Alachua County in Florida realized the need for effective training for hearing loss prevention for officers, particularly concerning the firearm qualification process. Working with faculty from the University of Florida to understand the impact of firearms on hearing loss, he went on to develop a training program for officers entitled “Firearms Training and Hearing Loss.” He put forth his own time and money to promote and deliver this training program and worked to increase the use of hearing protection devices. Based on his leadership in developing and disseminating this program and application of evidence-based information to prevent hearing loss in the law enforcement community he was given the 2017 Innovation Award.
NIOSH, NHCA, and CAOHC have partnered to sponsor this award. Winners of the awards are recognized for their leadership in hearing loss prevention, and a representative from the awardee’s organization is invited to the annual Conference of the National Hearing Conservation Association to present their stories and receive their award. To apply for the award, you must first submit a letter to Scott Schneider, Safe-in-Sound Review Committee Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on what the letter should include can be found here. Nominees will be notified of their eligibility and given directions on submitting a nomination. Then first round decisions, site visits, and final round decisions all take place before the award recipient is selected by December 31st.
Occupational Hearing Loss occurs when noise levels reach 85 decibels or higher. Imagine shouting at someone three feet from you in order for them to hear you. These are the types of environments where serious hearing loss can occur.
Ototoxic chemicals can cause damage to the cochlea in the inner ear, neurological pathways leading to hearing loss, and can also cause tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and dizziness.
Organic solvents such as styrene, trichloroethylene, heavy metals like lead and mercury, and asphyxiant gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide are examples of chemicals that pose hearing loss hazards to employees.
Occupational exposures cause twenty-four percent of hearing loss. The Safe-in-Sound Award promotes hearing safety and hearing loss prevention for workers throughout the country, bringing together industry leaders and individuals who encourage advancements in hearing loss prevention through this program every year.