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Construction Solutions Database (Completed - 2009-2014)

James Platner, PhD, CIH 
Ph: 301-578-8500 ext.8501 

Research Team: Jean Christophe Le, MPH

Where can construction superintendents direct their smartphones to find reliable solutions when they witness a hazard on the jobsite?
The CPWR Construction Solutions database, of course. In fact, whether you are a superintendent, safety rep, occupational health consultant, or trades employee, if you have a connection to the internet and want to control hazards on the job, Construction Solutions is for you.

This CPWR database was designed as an easy-to-use online tool for construction firms seeking ready-to-use answers to their health and safety questions. This storehouse of information contains analyses of hundreds of common workplace hazards. For each hazard, the database offers one or more effective solutions, from alternative work techniques to commercially available tools. Most of the tools described also feature links to a manufacturer or dealer in case users wish to explore the features and cost of the device in detail.

In 2014, the random and intermittent functionality problems with Construction Solutions’ SafeCalc website, which had resulted in entries being lost, were corrected and tested, and new functionality was added to give CPWR greater control over entering and posting return on investment (ROI) examples. Once the final testing was completed, two new examples were added to the calculator, and an existing one, based on the “Overhead Drilling” Solution Record developed by University of California researcher David Rempel, was revised to reflect the addition of a dust control system and productivity data compiled by Washington University researchers and contractors. This revised example, “Overhead Drill Press & Dust Control,” and one of the new ones, “Hand-Held Drill with Integrated Dust Control,” were also included as evidence of the availability and feasibility of engineering controls in support of OSHA’s proposed silica standard. CPWR has several new examples in progress that reflect its research findings, solutions, and stakeholder priorities.

Other subtle but critical improvements to the site’s navigation system were made, such as adding a navigation guide that remains visible to site visitors throughout their journey. The guide – known in Web design circles as a “breadcrumb trail” – enables users to find their way back to the search page after finding a solution. The navigation improvements slashed sudden exits from the site, so that the average visitor in September 2013 spent 35% more time there than they had a year before.


  • Thirty-four Solution Records and 223 Hazard Analyses were released to the public.
  • Three Return on Investment Examples: Overhead Drill Press & Dust Control (revised with new productivity data), Hand-Held Drill with Integrated Dust Control, and Sheet Metal Crimpers – Per Part.
  • There was an increase in Construction Solutions’ users and page views by 48% and 25%, respectively.