UNC Honored Nationally for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Prevention Program

Partnership Provides Evidence-Based Intervention, including in K-12 Schools and Workplace

Dangerous Decibels and Safe in Sound Award logos

The University of Northern Colorado is among the winners of the 2013 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards, announced today by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).

The innovation award honors the university for its collaboration on Dangerous Decibels, a multi-faceted, evidence-based intervention program dedicated to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

The program is being recognized for the development, widespread dissemination and cultural adaptation of innovative training strategies shown to positively change knowledge, attitudes and behaviors in youth and adults, including occupational settings (www.dangerousdecibels.org), and applying solid scientific and theoretical basis into all program aspects. The program includes science museum exhibits, virtual exhibits, K-12 classroom programs, educator training workshops, 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.

Built upon partnerships among the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, UNC and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the program has received widespread funding and dissemination support by numerous organizations. At UNC, Audiology faculty Deanna Meinke and Don Finan have led related campaigns.

Presented at the 38th Annual Hearing Conservation Conference on Feb. 22 in St. Petersburg, Fla., the awards honor organizations that have shown dedication to excellence in hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment and beyond. The other winners are Vulcan Materials Company and Johns Mansville.

"This year's recipients confirm that the benefits of noise control go far beyond the prevention of hearing loss and make good business sense, as a safe and healthy workforce benefits workers, employers, and the U.S. economy," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the innovative work of companies who serve as leaders in this area."

To view the award recipient presentations visit http://www.safeinsound.us/winners.html. For further information please visit www.safeinsound.us.

About the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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 www.cdc.gov/niosh. 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 www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise.