Recognizing 2024 Safe-In-Sound Award Winners

february 05, 2024

MEDIA CONTACT: Nura Sadeghpour,, 202.245.0673

On February 9, solutions to high noise environments and communication challenges, as well as increased access to hearing health care and hearing loss prevention, will be highlighted at the 2024 Safe-in-Sound Awards™ presented at the 48th National Hearing Conservation Association annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The winners will receive their awards from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and partners.

The Dow Chemical Company: Winner of the Safe-in-Sound Award for Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention

A chart of a soundwave with red circles around the top peaks

Identifying high-priority hearing health risks; image provided by Dow Chemical Company

The Dow Chemical Company, an American multinational corporation with a presence in 160 countries, is being recognized for its commitment to finding and implementing solutions to high noise and communication challenges in their facilities and exploring innovative, leading-edge best practices.

In order to change a workplace culture that had not previously prioritized noise control among its operations, a few visionary individuals sought testimonials from workers and broadcast initial noise control and other interventions across the corporation on issues related-to noise exposure, hearing difficulties, stress and communication challenges. Dow then disseminated innovative solutions and mechanisms for individual facilities to address their specific noise challenges. Their approach includes interventions such as: reduction of sound levels below the NIOSH recommended 85-dBA limit for 8-hour noise exposures; adoption of inclusive criteria in their comprehensive hearing loss prevention program; completion of multiple noise-control studies throughout each business unit to identify all noise sources affecting worker exposure; documentation of cost and noise reduction results; and the adoption of Buy-Quiet policies and practices.  Employees at all levels of the corporation are engaged in the initiatives and each individually contributes to these noteworthy accomplishments.

Lieutenant Colonel Kara Cave, Chief of the Hearing Program at Womack Army Medical Center, U.S. Army, Fort Liberty, North Carolina: Winner of the Safe-in-Sound Award for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention

Rows of people sitting down wearing fatigues, participating in a training

In-person training at Fort Liberty; image provided by LTC Kara Cave

Throughout her career Lieutenant Colonel Kara Cave has been a champion for evidence-based program advancements that have improved access to hearing health care and led to more positive outcomes for the people and organizations she serves. She has used a data-driven approach to demonstrate the benefits of various clinical and program initiatives and obtain management support and investment for programs designed to prevent hearing loss, evaluate fitness for duty and assess the effects of specialized hearing protectors on situational awareness. She has also led a team that conducted a detailed analysis of the hearing care capabilities and policies and identified feasible steps that significantly improved prevention as well as clinical and rehabilitative services.

To learn more about the successful initiatives of the 2024 winners and past winners visit  The Safe-in-Sound awards are a product of a partnership between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) and the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC).

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2025 awards is August 19, 2024. Guidance to nominate others or oneself can be found on the Safe-in-Sound website.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit