Cincinnati —The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Innovative Research Award for 2011 was presented to six University of Washington researchers for developing a program to test the effectiveness of training and reinforcement of hearing protection use among construction workers.

NORA is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award was presented at the NORA Symposium 2011, held in Cincinnati by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health and the Education and Research Center.

The NORA Innovative Research Award for Effectiveness of Training and Reinforcement on Hearing Protective Devices (HPD) Use Among Construction Workers was presented to Noah Seixas, PhD, Richard Neitzel, PhD, Hendrika Meischke, PhD, William Daniell, MD; Lianne Sheppard, PhD, and Jane Edelson, MS, who are all researchers at the University of Washington.

The goal of their project was to increase use of hearing protection devices in construction work, especially during periods of high noise exposure, and the prevention of noise induced hearing loss among construction workers.

The findings demonstrated that the hearing conservation training was successful at increasing use of hearing protection among construction workers, As a result, the researchers have shared the training materials with dozens of contractors and trade groups and posted the materials online for free download.

The researchers have also conducted "train-the-trainer" sessions with 21 construction safety professionals from around Washington and Oregon to allow for further dissemination of the materials. The success of the Noise Level Indicator in this study contributed to the commercial launch of a modified version of the product.

More information about the award winning program is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention