Research

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Construction Solutions Database

James Platner, PhD, CIH 
CPWR 
Ph: 301-578-8500 ext.8501 
Email: jplatner@cpwr.com

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.

This year the team made subtle but critical improvements to the navigation system guiding users through the site. The most important: 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 have 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.

In the past year, the team also added and updated solutions and hazard analyses to the database and linked the solutions to appropriate items in the renovated eLCOSH website (see previous page). With help from contractors and their associations, the team has also created new examples for its Return-on-Investment (ROI) calculator. The online tool was designed to help firms contemplating a purchase to evaluate its costs and benefits. It’s no wonder that hundreds of visitors each month now use the Construction Solutions search function to assess hazards currently affecting workers on the job, then find practical, available solutions to control those hazards and to check out possible answers for a common construction safety or health dilemma!

Results

  • The team enriched the database with 35new solutions and two new technology examples for the ROI calculator.
     
  • The team promoted Construction Solutions with a webinar and 5 presentations to industry audiences.
     
  • Each month Construction Solutions draws thousands of visitors – hundreds of whom use its search functions to seek answers for a common construction safety and health challenge, averaging four pages viewed per visit.