NORA Innovative Research Award for Worker Health and Safety Honors Collaboration For Preventing Construction Workers’ Hearing Loss


July 13, 2011
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Nura Sadeghpour, (202) 245-0673

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Innovative Research Award for 2011 was presented on July 12 for a collaboration that developed and tested the effectiveness of training and reinforcement on hearing protection use among construction workers.

The award was presented at NORA Symposium 2011, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, and the University of Cincinnati Education and Research Center. The symposium convened researchers and practitioners from government, industry, labor, and universities. The researchers and practitioners partner to design, support, conduct, and use the products of occupational safety and health research under NORA.

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, all with the University of Washington.

The goal of this 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. They 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. The commercial availability of this technology represents an important and tangible step towards preventing noise-induced hearing loss among US workers. Mention of a commercial product or name does not constitute commercial endorsement by NIOSH.

More information about the project, the Innovative Research Award 2011 and NORA is available at

Page last reviewed: July 13, 2011