staff. A list of materials provided to the committee by NIOSH is found in Appendix C. In addition to written materials provided by NIOSH, the committee also had independent access to other NIOSH papers and conference materials.

Site Visits

In response to an invitation from NIOSH and after careful consideration, a subset of the committee made site visits to the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory on March 21, 2006, and to the Robert Taft Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 22, 2006. Committee members used the site visits to address specific questions that had arisen in the course of their review and to further inform their impressions from the materials provided by NIOSH. During the site visits, NIOSH staff provided committee members with tours of the research facilities and showed them the testing equipment available onsite. In Cincinnati, committee visitors also had the opportunity to visit the laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, where noise emissions from powered hand tools have been measured under a contract from the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program. Agendas for the site visits are presented in Box B-1.

Opportunity for Stakeholders to Comment on the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program

The committee was directed by the Framework Document to consider stakeholder input in assessing the impact and relevance of the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program. Issues of interest included whether stakeholder input was taken into consideration in shaping the NIOSH research program and stakeholders’ views on the program’s research activities and products.

The Framework Document did not specify the means for eliciting input from stakeholders. The committee determined that conducting a systematic survey was not feasible within the constraints of the project. As an alternative, the committee invited stakeholders to provide comments relevant to its evaluation of the impact and relevance of the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program. The objective was to assemble comments from a diverse group of organizations and individuals. Individual invitations to comment were sent to approximately 200 people and organizations. The invitation was also posted on a publicly available website.

Identification of Stakeholders

The committee identified possible stakeholders for the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program through several means. The research program provided a list of

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