National Hearing Conservation Association Recognizes Laurie Wells, Au.D., With Prestigious Michael Beall Threadgill Award

March 19, 2012

 Laurie Wells, Au.D., Manager of Audiology for Associates in Acoustics, Inc., received the Michael Beall Threadgill Award during a ceremony at the annual conference of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA). This award, established in 1985, recognizes an individual whose committed leadership and insight has furthered the NHCA’s mission of preventing hearing loss from environmental factors in all sectors of society.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Wells has been strong proponent of hearing conservation, both within and beyond the NHCA. Dr. Wells has represented the American Academy of Audiology on the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) since 2007; currently, she is the Vice-Chair of Education for CAOHC. She has provided occupational audiology services to local employers while employed at the University of Northern Colorado Speech-Pathology and Audiology Clinic. Her efforts are by no means confined to the United States: she has provided hearing conservation education and implementation in Belgium, China, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Spain and the West Indies.

In 1999, Dr. Wells accepted the role of Secretary on the NHCA Executive Council; she remained on the council for the next seven years, serving as Vice-President, President-Elect, President, and finally Past President in 2007. During this time she planned and participated in multiple NHCA Excellence Seminars, acted as Program Chair for two consecutive conferences, contributed to and served as Associate Editor for the NHCA Spectrum, and served on multiple task forces within NHCA.

 “Dr. Wells has selflessly donated her time and energy to our organization, and to the cause of hearing loss prevention. She exemplifies the ideals of the NHCA with her dedication,” said Laura Kauth, NHCA President and Chair of the Nominations Task Force.

Dr. Wells was also recognized as the 2011 Outstanding Lecturer for her thought-provoking presentation at the 2011 conference, titled “From Here to There to Hear”.

About the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)

The mission of the NHCA is to prevent hearing loss due to noise and other environmental factors in all sectors of society. NHCA provides networking, resources and professional development opportunities to improve skills, practices, and services in hearing loss prevention. NHCA’s membership includes audiologists, researchers, industrial hygienists, educators, professional service organizations, safety professionals, medical professionals, engineers, audio professionals, students, and others who have dedicated their work to the advancement of hearing loss prevention. For more information about the National Hearing Conservation Association, visit the NHCA online at or call 1-303-224-9022. Follow the NHCA on Twitter, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

The Safe-in-Sound Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ Winners!

March 1, 2012

The Safe-in-Sound Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ honor excellent hearing loss prevention (HLP) practices in the work environment. Applicants are evaluated against key performance indicators in a review process designed to evaluate hearing loss prevention programs in each of three work sectors: construction, manufacturing and services. In addition, a fourth award for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention recognizes individuals and/or business entities, regardless of sector/ NAICS code affiliation.  

This year Custom Protect Ear’s President, Jeffrey Goldberg attended the The Safe-in-Sound Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ on February 24, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Here are the winners:  

The 2012 recipients for Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Manufacturing Sector are:

>>> Colgate-Palmolive Company WorldwideSafe in sound awards

Colgate – Palmolive Company is recognized for adopting 85/3 company wide, multiple noise controls studies, development of noise control measures, online, on demand noise control training in 6 languages: here are some of the points.

      1. – 39,000 employees, 16 Billion is sales, 60 plants.
      2. – Committed to world class health and safety performance
      3. – Every plant has an E O H S professional on staff.
      4. – Global standards for OH&S – noise standards are the same wherever there is a plant.
      5. – Reduce noise at the source, design quiet – equipment at < 82 dBA
      6. – Operate quiet – preventative maintenance stop noise at the source.
      7. – Noise reduction taught around the world (D. Driscoll slide)
      8. – Reduce noise at the source. Require all site to have 2 noise reduction projects per year everywhere.
      9. – Implemented over 250 noise reduction projects worldwide.
      10. – Challenged to create a zero hearing protection sites
      11. – Colgate will promote the winning of the award throughout the company.

>>> 3M Hutchinson in Minnesota

Largest U.S. manufacturing plant for 3M. Recognized for all inclusive and fully integrated approach for hearing health. Fit Testing all plant personnel, Buying Quiet program. 700 in hearing conservation program out of 1,400 employees. Tapes, Filters, Post-it etc. 3 keys – Noise measurement, Noise Reduction, and Hearing conservation excellence. (371 dosimetry samples in the last year). Use the Using Ear-Fit system they tested a sample of 84 people initially: here are some of the points.

          1. – 55% got a good fit,
          2. – 24% needed training to get a good fit (+20 dBA,
          3. – 19% needed Training and a switch of plug and
          4. – 2% couldn’t be fit with any plug (Used custom of muffs)
          5. – Using Ear-Fit they were able to get people who had worn plugs for years. They got an Aha’ moment when they finally got a good fit and found out what that felt like, and sounded like.
          6. – Stock combat arms in their factory store for hunters.


The 2012 recipient for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention in the Construction Sector is:

>>>Bechtel National Inc., BSII, Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant Project (Richland, WA).

The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) is the world’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant: here are some of the points.

                        1. – BN11 Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant (WTP)
                        2. – World’s largest radioactive waste treatment plant.
                        3. – 1,100 employees in the hearing conservation program (out of 3,200).
                        4. – Jacob Bailey, Jacob Lukins, Scott Nickerson lead the HCP
                        5. – Much of the program adopted by WTP has been adopted by other Bechtel locations.
                        6. – Program is considered by Bechtel to be low cost.
                        7. – Benefits extend beyond the hearing conservation program and Bechtel considers this cheaper than the fines they might get from DOE.
                        8. – Future projections:
                          1.    – Tool noise levels will be part of their purchase decisions in future.
                          2.    – Review cost benefit for fit testing and hearing protection devices.


Way to go all this year’s winners of The Safe-in-Sound Excellence and Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™ .  CLICK HERE TO READ PRESS RELEASE.