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2013 Winners

The 2013 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ were presented at the 38th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 22, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The 2013 recipient for Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector was:

Vulcan Materials Company (VMC) is a major producer of construction aggregates; primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel.  VMC operates 323 aggregates plants and other production and distribution facilities which serve 19 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas and Mexico. In 2011, VMC shipped approximately 143 million tons of construction aggregates, and also provided asphalt mix, ready-mixed concrete and paving construction services.  VMC was recognized for their commitment and implementation of a quality data-driven hearing loss prevention program that extends beyond simple regulatory compliance.  VMC’s effort is especially noteworthy when one considers the diverse and ever-changing and challenging work environments that are characteristic of this industry. VMC has embraced innovative and cost-effective noise measurement and control strategies. Noise risks are prioritized and addressed systematically with careful attention to detail to assure prompt reporting, high quality data, detailed analysis, progress tracking and outcome assessments. VMC provides extensive noise measurement and control training and re-training for select employees to function as industrial hygiene support staff.  This allows VMC to increase their noise hazard surveillance and intervention opportunities without sacrificing quality.  VMC’s is also leading the advancements in noise monitoring strategies for mobile workers by integrating sophisticated technologies such as GPS, and video into their noise measurement  protocols. These novel approaches will benefit other industries in the future and contribute to the goal of eliminating occupational noise-induced hearing loss.
Vulcan Materials Company (VMC)Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

From L to R: Kelly Bailey (VMC), John Howard (NIOSH), Andrew Perkins (VMC). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman
From L to R: Kelly Bailey (VMC), John Howard (NIOSH),  Andrew Perkins (VMC). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman

The 2013 Award recipient for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector was:

Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building insulation, commercial roofing, roof insulation, and specialty products for commercial, industrial and residential applications.  JM employs 6500 employees in the U.S., Europe and Asia.  JM was recognized for their development and application of innovative hearing loss prevention program metrics.  Their “Hearing Conservation Pyramid” approach incorporates both leading and lagging indicators of hearing conservation program effectiveness. Rather than an injury-based focus which relied solely on the traditional significant threshold shift (STS) metric and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable hearing loss cases, JM has integrated three other metrics. These additional metrics include an early audiometric notch index, hearing protector personal attenuation ratings and a noise level index designed to track noise exposure levels weighted by FTEs.  The implementation of the JM “Hearing Conservation Pyramid” approach initiated noise control engineering training which ultimately resulted in the completion of successful noise control projects and stimulated resource sharing between plants.  The JM revised metric approach has been enthusiastically embraced by both plant managers and employees due to their ability to directly impact the noise exposure of workers.  This innovative JM data driven approach has demonstrated practical implementation in the short-term and will provide for long-term program monitoring and advocacy. The JM “Hearing Conservation Pyramid” is readily adaptable to other noise-exposed industries who wish to become proactive rather than reactive to the risk of noise-induced hearing loss among their workforce. 
Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway Company Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

From L to R: Jeanne Virtue (JM), Barbara Menard (JM), John Howard (NIOSH). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman
From L to R: Jeanne Virtue (JM), Barbara Menard (JM), John Howard (NIOSH). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman

The 2013 Award recipient for the Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention was:

Dangerous Decibels® is a multi-faceted, evidence-based intervention program dedicated to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. The Dangerous Decibels program has been built upon collaborative partnerships between the Oregon Health & Science University, the Portland State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry with widespread funding and dissemination support by numerous organizations. Dangerous Decibels was recognized for their development, widespread dissemination and cultural adaptation of innovative training strategies shown to positively change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in youth and adults.  The program is unique in terms of the solid scientific and theoretical basis which incorporates health communication theory into all program aspects including science museum exhibits, virtual exhibits, K-12 classroom programs, educator training workshops, “Jolene – How Loud is Your Music” public outreach tools and research.   Dangerous Decibels emphasizes the need to protect hearing for a “lifetime” and bridges the occupational and non-occupational noise risks. Dangerous Decibels is changing the culture of hearing loss prevention across all ages and investing in the hearing health of current and future workers.
(Dangerous Decibels® Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

From L to R: William Hal Martin (DD), John Howard (NIOSH), Ga-Lo Vann (DD), Susan Griest (DD), Deanna Meinke (DD). L to R, front row: Linda Howarth and Judy Sobel (DD). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman
From L to R: William Hal Martin (DD), John Howard (NIOSH), Ga-Lo Vann (DD), Susan Griest (DD), Deanna Meinke (DD). L to R, front row:  Linda Howarth and Judy Sobel (DD). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman



From L to R: back row: Pam Graydon (NIOSH, SiS), Deanna Meinke (DD), Thais Morata (NIOSH, SiS), John Howard (NIOSH), Judy Sobel (DD), Ga-Lo Vann (DD), Susan Griest (DD), Rick Neitzel (SiS), James Lankford (SiS), John Franks (SiS), Laura Kauth (NHCA). Left to right, front row: Linda Howarth (DD), William Hal Martin (DD), Andrew Perkins (VMC), Kelly Bailey (VMC), Kelly Bailey (VM), Andrew Perkins (VM). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman.
From L to R: back row: Pam Graydon (NIOSH, SiS), Deanna Meinke (DD), Thais Morata (NIOSH, SiS), John Howard (NIOSH), Judy Sobel (DD), Ga-Lo Vann (DD), Susan Griest (DD), Rick Neitzel (SiS), James Lankford (SiS), John Franks (SiS), Laura Kauth (NHCA). Left to right, front row: Linda Howarth (DD), William Hal Martin (DD), Andrew Perkins (VMC), Kelly Bailey (VMC), Kelly Bailey (VM),   Andrew Perkins (VM). Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman.


2012 Winners



The 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ were presented at the 37th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 24, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The 2012 recipients for Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector are:

Colgate-Palmolive (CP) the first company to receive a Safe-in-Sound Award™ at a company level, is a global company with 35,000 employees in over 200 countries. CP manufactures dental care, personal care, home care and pet nutrition products. Their accomplishments are achieved by applying internal expertise to establish synergistic partnerships across diverse departments and organizational levels to solve problems.  Colgate-Palmolive was recognized for interventions such as:  company-wide adoption of the NIOSH recommended 85-dBA threshold-limit value for 8-hour noise exposures; application of the 3-dB exchange rate for noise exposure assessments; adoption of inclusive criteria in their hearing loss prevention program; completion of multiple noise-control studies throughout each business unit to identify all noise sources affecting worker exposure; development and implementation of many pilot-program noise control measures; documentation of cost and noise reduction results;  dissemination of an internal CP handbook on noise control; development of online, on-demand webcast training in noise control engineering available in six languages; establishment of checklists for sustaining low-noise levels; and the adoption of buy-quiet and design-quiet policies – even to the point of assisting equipment manufacturers in developing quieter machinery.
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Colgate-Palmolive Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

Colgate Palmolive Award Winners From L to R: Eric Oliver (CP), Chris Miller (CP), CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Marie Capdevielle (CP), Lori Michelin (CP), Jeff Giesse (CP), Brent Hylton (CP)
From L to R: Eric Oliver (CP), Chris Miller (CP), CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Marie Capdevielle (CP), Lori Michelin (CP), Jeff Giesse (CP), Brent Hylton (CP)
Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman


3M, Hutchinson, MN (Hutchinson, MN). 3M has 180 plant locations worldwide which produce over 50,000 products.  The Hutchinson Plant is the largest  of  28  3M manufacturing facilities  in the U.S. and manufactures a range of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes, micro abrasives, and coated and uncoated plastic films.  The plant serves 26 of the 35 3M divisions with final products or intermediaries that are further processed for Aerospace, Automotive, Electrical, Personal Care, Communication Markets, and Renewable Energy. The hearing conservation program at 3M Hutchinson was recognized for its all-inclusive and strongly integrated approach to worker hearing health including statistically driven noise exposure assessments, implementation of a Buy-Quiet program, and noise control for existing equipment. In addition, it was recognized for comprehensive implementation of hearing protection fit-testing of all plant personnel, availability of both general and specialty hearing protection devices for off-the-job noise exposures (e.g. hunting and target shooting), high quality audiometric testing with professional supervision and evidence of strong support from  corporate management, plant management and individual workers.  This 3M program was tailored for individualized training and development of a culture of personal responsibility to maintain noise controls, identify noise hazards and properly fit and utilize hearing protectors throughout the facility.
3M hutchinson Plant Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

Award Winner 3M From L to R: CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Hendra Harapan (3M) and Dan Westrum (3M)
From L to R: CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Hendra Harapan (3M) and Dan Westrum (3M)
Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman


The 2012 recipient for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Construction Sector is:

Bechtel National Inc., BSII, Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project (Richland, WA). (Richland, WA).  The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) is the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant.  It is being designed, constructed, and commissioned by Bechtel National, Inc.  The construction site spans 65 acres and includes four major nuclear facilities.  Bechtel Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project was recognized for the comprehensive integration of their hearing loss prevention program components, for their innovative strategies to address industry specific challenges in the areas of noise monitoring, risk evaluation and risk communication, for adopting the NIOSH-recommended exposure limit of 85 dB with the 3 dB exchange rate, for promoting the active involvement of the workforce in their efforts, and for encouraging the adoption of their strategies by other Bechtel sites
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(FC) Bechtel National Inc. BSII Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

Award Winner Bechtel From L to R (back):  Tim Rink (NHCA), Deanna Meinke (Safe-in-Sound), James Lankford (Safe-in-Sound); Scott Nickerson (Bechtel WTP), Rick Neitzel (Safe-in-Sound), CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Christopher Bruni (Bechtel WTP), Thais C. Morata (NIOSH, Safe-in-Sound).
From L to R (back):  Tim Rink (NHCA), Deanna Meinke (Safe-in-Sound), James Lankford (Safe-in-Sound); Scott Nickerson (Bechtel WTP), Rick Neitzel (Safe-in-Sound), CAPT. Margaret Kitt (NIOSH), Christopher Bruni (Bechtel WTP), Thais C. Morata (NIOSH, Safe-in-Sound).
Photo Courtesy: Jack Foreman

2011 Winners



The 2011 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ were presented at the 36th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 25, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.

“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 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., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider. The Division Fibers is responsible for producing the yarn needed for carpet manufacturing, an inherently noisy process. The Division Fibers 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:  noise measurement, engineering and administrative noise control initiatives, provision of a wider selection of hearing protection devices, fit-test verification of the attenuation provided by the devices, audiometric testing, training and program evaluation, and facilitating the adoption of their strategies by other Shaw facilities.
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Shaw Industries Group Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)



Kenny Dillard, Dr. John Howard presenting SIS award
Kenny Dillard (Shaw), Dr. John Howard (NIOSH) presenting SIS Award Photo courtesy of Rick Neitzel

The 2011 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. Fort Carson is one of the largest Army Forces Command bases.  As a nation currently at war, over 26,000 Army , National Guard and Reserve soldiers were activated and demobilized from their deployments throughout the United States, Europe, and the middle east via Fort Carson in 2010.The noise hazards of war are extreme and inherently challenging to manage in terms of hearing loss prevention. Beginning in 2007, a pilot program was implemented at Ft. Carson designed to recognize the critical value of functional hearing for soldier readiness, effectiveness and safety. 

CPT Cleveland (from the Army Medical Department) 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).  The elements of this program include timely hearing testing, multi-level educational programs, hearing program officer integration, expanded hearing protection options,appropriate amplification matched to a soldier’s work-related hearing demands and an ardent commitment to each individual at risk of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus (civilian or soldier).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. The pilot program outcomes have significant implications for system-wide advances in both civilian and military hearing loss prevention programs.
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(FC) Army Hearing Program Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)



CPT Cleveland, Dr. John Howard (NIOSH) presenting SIS Award. Photo courtesy of Rick Neitzel
CPT Cleveland, Dr. John Howard (NIOSH) presenting SIS Award. Photo courtesy of Rick Neitzel


File Shaw Sis Committee: L to Right back row: Scott Schneider (SiS),  Thomas Hunterbrinker (Shaw), Lee Hager (SiS), John Howard (NIOSH) and Tim Bates (Shaw).
Left to Right back row: Scott Schneider (SiS),  Thomas Hunterbrinker (Shaw), Lee Hager (SiS), John Howard (NIOSH) and Tim Bates (Shaw).Front row: Thais Morata (NIOSH), Kenny Dillard (Shaw), Deanna Meinke (SiS), James Lankford (SiS), Photo courtesy of Rick Neitzel

2010 Winners


The 2010 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ were presented at the 35th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 26, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

The 2010 recipient for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector is:

Etymotic Research, Inc., (“Et-im-oh-tik” true to the ear), a research and product development group which creates products designed to measure, improve and protect hearing. Founded in 1983, Etymotic Research spans an impressive 27-year history of innovative, practical and high-fidelity solutions to challenging hearing loss prevention issues. Etymotic Research is being recognized for their pioneering technical expertise, remarkable influence, ardent support and essential sponsorship of hearing loss prevention research, services, products and public outreach. Specifically, the development of insert earphones, ER-15 and other flat attenuation hearing protectors, isolator earphones and the ER-200 personal consumer noise dosimeter are highlighted. Etymotic Research’s innovations have had a direct impact on the quality, delivery and effectiveness of hearing loss and tinnitus prevention programs.
Etymotic Presentation Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

The 2010 recipients for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Construction Sector are:

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc (PB) in a partnership established to address a mayoral charge to update the New York City’s Noise Code and create a new law establishing rules for construction noise. Parsons Brinckerhoff has been a leader in the transportation and infrastructure engineering industry for almost 125 years, and for this particular endeavor, became the primary consultant supporting NYC DEP to research, develop, write, present and defend the new NYC Construction Noise Rules. These Rules were developed primarily to reduce community noise by establishing noise emission limits and requiring noise mitigation measures for all construction work occurring within New York City, but because of NYC DEP and PB’s insight, the rules proactively address work-related exposures, thereby extending its reach and benefits. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. were recognized for their combined efforts in developing, implementing and overseeing the New York City Construction Noise Mitigation Rule.
NYC Department of Evironmental Protection and Parsons Brickerhoff, Inc

The 2010 recipients for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Services Sector are:

Dr. Kris Chesky and the College of Music, University of North Texas, for their contribution towards raising the awareness of the importance of hearing loss prevention among student and professional musicians, a constituency that has not been reached through other traditional mechanisms. Dr. Chesky and colleagues are pursuing all facets (including innovative research and methodology, education and advocacy) which can potentially contribute to success in hearing loss prevention among individuals involved in music performances and practice. Their work has reached music educators and students from kindergarten through college, university administrators and board members of accreditation agencies. Advocacy was demonstrated by the development and proposed adoption of position statements that set the agenda for formal music education related to the prevention of music-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Their work is bringing additional attention to the risk of music-induced hearing loss to other professionals in entertainment venues and to the general public.
Dr. Kris Chesky Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)



2010 Winners
Back row, left to right: Captain Margaret Kitt and SiS Award Committee members, Noah Seixas, Deanna Meinke, Lee Hager, James Lankford, Pam Graydon, Thais Morata.
Front Row, Left to right Award Winners: Erich Thalheimer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc, Mead Killion, Etymotic Research Inc., and Kris Chesky, College of Music, University of North Texas.
Photo courtesy of Jack Foreman

CAPT, Greg Lotz  Carter Strickland, Jr.
Left to Right: CAPT, Greg Lotz, Division Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Carter Strickland, Jr., Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability at New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Photo taken at the Building Trades Employers' Association Leadership Dinner, on May 18, 2010.

Innovation on Parade
Left to right Award Winners: Kris Chesky, College of Music, University of North Texas, Mead Killion, Ph.D., Etymotic Research Inc., Erich Thalheimer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Photo courtesy of Jack Foreman


2009 Winners


The 2009 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ were presented at the 34th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on February 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2009 recipients in the Manufacturing Sector were:

The 2009 recipient in the Services Sector was:

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 Montgomery County Water Services Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)

The 2009 recipient for the Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention award was:

Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation, Inc., Chicago, IL.  Sensaphonics serves the hearing needs of music industry and other industries that rely upon high-impact audio products. Sensaphonics was recognized for being a pioneer in combining products, audiology services, and education to reach their hearing loss prevention goals, for their 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.
Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation Presentation (Adobe Flash Required)
                                                                                       
2009 Award Winners Back row, top left to top right: Charlie Floyd (Domtar), Mark Skripol (P&W),  Pam Graydon (NIOSH), Tim Brooks (P&W), Nancy Hitchins (P&W),  Meg Gildea (P&W),  Ed Nelson (P&W), Thais Morata (NIOSH), Dom Chiulli (P&W),  Craig Thompson (P&W), Deanna Meinke (NHCA), Jim Newhall (NIOSH) and James Lankford (NHCA)Front row (seated), left to right: Connie Muncy (MCWS), Debbie Davis (Domtar), Dave Russel (P&W) and Michael Santucci (Sensaphonics). Photo courtesy of Jack Foreman.