The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), has awarded Ryan Lee Scott, a deputy sheriff with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Fla, the 2017 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award for his documented results and leadership in hearing loss prevention. Scott will receive the award on February 24, 2017, at the NHCA Annual Hearing Conservation Conference in San Antonio.
Scott recognized the potential risk that shooting firearms during qualification training posed to his ability to hear, and the need for effective hearing loss prevention strategies and training for police officers, according to a press release on the Safe-in-Sound website. He sought guidance from a faculty team at the University of Florida to learn about the high-level impulse sounds produced by firearms and interventions to minimize the risk. The new knowledge motivated him to develop an educational workshop: “Firearms Training and Hearing Loss” tailored specifically to the law enforcement community. The workshop covers the potential for unprotected firearm sounds to damage their hearing, and the use of specialized hearing protection devices and firearm suppressors to reduce the sound levels.
The release details Scott’s investment of both time and money to help develop, travel, and deliver his training sessions as well as his advocacy working to increase the availability of technological solutions and devices that integrate hearing protection with radio communication systems, so that situational awareness is preserved for those whose hearing is critical to job performance and safety. Towards that goal, he has reached out to a variety of stakeholders, including public safety officers and supervisory administrative teams responsible for acquisition and purchasing decisions.