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Research Dissemination Projects
- Technology Transfer
- Silica Resources
- Nail Gun Injury Prevention
- Safety Culture
- Career Technical Education
- Reaching Residential Construction Workers and Contractors
CPWR researchers develop and test safer tools and equipment. But unless these innovations become available in the marketplace, they will not lead to fewer injuries and illnesses. In May 2012, CPWR held a Construction Industry Technology Transfer Symposium in order to: explore ways to partner with manufactures, create a plan for technology transfer in construction, identify gaps in understanding of the tech-transfer process, and develop recommendations for building and sustaining technology transfer in the industry.
The resulting report and recommendations, Best Practices for Health and Safety Technology Transfer in Construction, can be found here.
In response to the recommendations, the following resources have been created:
- An Intellectual Property Patent & Licensing Guide for Construction Safety & Health Researchers & Inventors
- Resources for Technology Transfer in Construction: A Roadmap for Construction Safety & Health Researchers - from the Laboratory to the Jobsite
- Technology Transfer Case Study: Development of a Safety & Health Intervention -- When the Researcher is the Inventor -- Finding a Manufacturer
- Technology Transfer Case Study: The Researcher -- Inventor Relationship: When a Study Depends on Another Party's Invention
Background materials from the symposium include:
- Technology Transfer Innovation and Successful Diffusion in the Construction Industry background paper
- Symposium agenda
- Summaries of case studies discussed
- Speaker biographies
- Diffusion of Innovation theory explanation
Researchers have documented the hazard of silica dust inhalation and feasible solutions. Together with the r2p Working Group (CPWR, OSHA and NIOSH), CPWR launched a website focused on working safely with silica to overcome widespread misconceptions about the hazard and feasibility of controlling exposures, and to increase the acceptance and use of dust control technology by contractors and workers. The website can be found at http://www.silica-safe.org/.
A central feature of this one-stop, user-friendly website is a planning tool that guides contractors, and other interested users, from the initial identification of a silica hazard to work practices and appropriate tool-control options to eliminate or reduce exposures during silica generating tasks. The site also provides:
- Links to commercially available tools and equipment to control airborne crystalline silica.
- Up-to-date information on regulatory efforts related to silica, as well as information on voluntary standards and requirements.
- Information on health hazards and suggested actions workers and contractors can take.
- A forum for asking questions about silica exposures, controls, and risks and sharing successes and challenges.
Read more about www.silica-safe.org in this flyer!
Nail Gun Injury Prevention:
Nail guns are used extensively in construction, especially in residential construction, and injuries caused by nail guns are common. Since worker and training and nail guns designed with safety features are readily available and can prevent these injuries, the r2p Working Group made dissemination of new nail gun safety materials a priority.
OSHA and NIOSH developed a nail gun guidance document geared toward residential home builders and construction contractors, subcontractors, and supervisors. It contains information on the types and causes of nail gun injuries and six practical steps that contractors can take to prevent these injuries
Another valuable resource is the website, Nail Gun Safety: The Facts, created by CPWR researcher Hester Lipscomb and her team. The site provides information and facts gathered over many years of research. It includes training tools to help reduce injuries, save lives and promote safe work practices, and background information and research to inform regulators and other industry stakeholders who can make the safe use of nail guns an even greater priority.
Many CPWR completed projects focused on improving the safety culture in the construction industry and it has been identified as a NORA high priority area. CPWR is actively working to develop and disseminate best practices and tools and identify research gaps. CPWR conducted a literature review and a white paper on the subject will be published in 2013. Using what was learned through this review as a starting point in June 2013, CPWR held a Safety Culture Symposium with contractor and worker representatives, researchers and safety and health professionals to gain a further insights into how to advance a ‘culture’ of safety in the industry.
Materials from the workshop and other information on our ongoing efforts in safety culture can be found here.
Career Technical Education:
Reaching incoming and younger workers is an ongoing challenge that is critical for ensuring that safe work practices are learned early in a person’s career. While CPWR has good access to apprenticeship programs, we need pathways to reach other career technical education (CTE) programs. LOHP at U.C. Berkeley is conducting research on what’s been tried and is working to develop a dissemination network/partnership with vocational technology, or career technical education, programs.
In July, 2013, Diane Bush and Karen Andrews of LOHP published a report detailing the status of school-based CTE programs. Their study and subsequent report set out to help address the lack of information on CTE programs in construction by conducting a preliminary scan of OSH training in CTE programs at both the high school and community and technical college levels, focusing on the extent of OSH integration in CTE systems, the barriers and gaps in integration, and how best to share new information with this community of instructors. Read the full report here.
Reaching Residential Construction Workers and Contractors:
Residential contractors tend to be small and many residential construction workers work on their own or with one or two other workers. As a result, there are many barriers to getting critical safety and health information into the hands of this dispersed and often isolated population. CPWR is engaging researchers in efforts to advance diffusion of innovation in this area. Larry Chapman at University of Wisconsin, conducted a literature review/environmental scan and designed a survey currently being used by CPWR to help understand the social and professional networks of residential contractors.
The following documents provide additional information:
- Literature Review and Environmental Scan for Better Translation of Research to Practice in Residential Construction
- CPWR Resources on Latino Workers, Young Workers, and Small Businesses in the Construction Industry
- Reaching and Influencing Small Residential Contractors’ Safety and Health Practices
- Other resources