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Completed Research

Construction Solutions (Completed – 2004-2009)

James W. Platner, Ph.D., CIH

CPWR
Silver Spring, MD
Ph: 301-578-8500 X8501
jplatner@cpwr.com

Construction workers suffer high rates of fatal and non-fatal injuries, occupational illness/cancers, and musculoskeletal disease (MSD). In order for contractors or workers/unions to take evidence-based actions to prevent occupational illnesses and reduce MSDs, they must be able to anticipate which tasks are high risk, and identify available control options or solutions. An on-line database was developed to allow workers and contractors to identify hazards associated with specific construction tasks, and provide options for actually controlling those hazards.

Participatory research methods and focus groups were used to identify common tasks and trade-group priority hazards. Technical advisory group reviews and focus groups were also conducted with journeyman apprenticeship instructors from all 15 of the construction trades unions.

Multiple, repeated process and outcome evaluation measures were used, including an evaluation of e-tool format and use, evaluation of hazard summary content, evaluation of solution or control information, and evaluation of use and user comments. Surveys drew on a avariety of technical reviewers, union leaders, OSHA 500 trained safety instructors, apprenticeship instructors, labor leaders at regional Building Trade Meeting, and contractors’ associations to evaluate changes in their self-reported use of this tool.

There are many online resources providing information on risk. Preventing injuries and illness requires improved mechanisms for practitioners to access the information they need to control these risks, or to alter practices or processes in a way that solves these problems.

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