Objective: To describe the rationale and creation of a national award to recognize and promote hearing loss prevention. Design: In 2007, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health partnered with the National Hearing Conservation Association to create the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award(TM) (www.safeinsound.us)
. The objectives of this initiative were to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements and to share leading edge information to a broader community. Results: An expert committee developed specific and explicit award evaluation criteria of excellence in hearing loss prevention for organizations in different industrial sectors. The general approach toward award criteria was to incorporate current 'best practices' and familiar benchmarks of hearing loss prevention programs. This approach was reviewed publicly. In addition, mechanisms were identified to measure the impact of the award itself. Interest in the award was recorded through the monitoring of the visitor traffic registered by the award web site and is increasing yearly. Specific values and strategies common across award winners are presented. Conclusion: The Safe-in-Sound Award(TM) has obtained high quality field data; identified practical solutions, disseminated successful strategies to minimize the risk of hearing loss, generated new partnerships, and shared practical solutions with others in the field.