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Small Study Program -- What's Next?

Small studies currently underway are looking at a wide range of issues, including:

ISafe: Using panoramic augmented reality to create a virtual safety training environment (University of Florida). In this study, panoramic augmented reality will be used as a technique for visualizing complex occasions on construction sites that can be augmented with different layers of safety-related information. This study will look to improve recognition and awareness of construction hazards among construction workers and professionals by developing and validating a hazard-identification training tool, which enables learners to navigate, observe, and identify hazards in complex context of construction sites.

Development of sustainable workforce model for construction (Oregon State University). This study aims to develop a framework for assessing the sustainability of a construction workforce. The study involves the identification and quantification of essential attributes that affect workers’ lives and careers, and hence, construction workforce sustainability.

Ergonomic stressors and back injury risk factors in construction glass and glazing work (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). This study will systematically identify and rank ergonomic risk factors in common construction glass and glazing work.  Data analysis will focus on back stressors that can cause work-related discomfort and injury.

Recent trenching accidents, analysis of their causes, and recommendations to reduce their occurrence (Ruth Ruttenberg & Associates).  The study will analyze data of recent trenching fatalities to better understand the reasons for the increases in fatalities.  It will also collect and explore success stories, evaluate barriers to better safety, and develop both short-term and longer-term strategies to prevent death from trenching cave-ins.

Insights from workers’ compensation data (University of Tennessee). Researchers will look at the topic of tenure as it relates to workplace injuries in some newly available data relative to workers’ compensation records in Tennessee.

Embodied safety awareness system: Embodied cognition through an artificial sensor system for improved awareness for hazards (University of Nevada Las Vegas). The research goal is in line with nationwide efforts and directions in safety: develop a prototype embedded safety communication system (ESCS) to provide workers with a new ability to sense hazards. These tactile-based signals will provide a sensing ability beyond their innate-sensing abilities (e.g., vision and audio), which previous research found inadequate in certain construction environments.

Application of end-of-shift respirable crystalline silica monitoring to construction (Zefon International). The aim of this study is to obtain experimental data, which can be used to determine the likelihood that a novel method for determining worker’s exposure to respirable crystalline silica being developed for the Mining Sector may have applicability to the Construction Sector.

UAS4Safety: Using unmanned aerial systems for automated fall hazard monitoring in high-rise construction projects (University of Florida). The objective of this study is to collect real-time video feed of the construction site using an unmanned aerial system, generating point-cloud data using videogrammetric technique, and developing and testing an algorithm to process spatial point cloud data and identify fall hazards.

PtD to make solar-ready houses safe for solar workers (University of Washington). For purposes of this study, solar designers and contractors will be interviewed to identify specific features that can be implemented in solar-ready houses to improve the safety performance of solar installation.  The researchers will develop a list and description of building components that encompass the identified design features and perform case studies. The study will aim to develop a design checklist that small-business designers can effectively use to apply PtD to their design practices.

Impacts of policy changes on worker safety outcomes in NYC construction sites (Cornell University).  This study will assess the impact of policy changes resulting from the enactment of New York City’s Local Law 196 in October of 2017.  The law links building permit issuance and renewal to compliance with new safety training requirements.  The new policy has a specific goal of promoting access to training for at-risk workers, who include largely immigrant construction workers.