From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
August 2022
New Report Examines Causes of Falls
Falls remain the leading cause of job site deaths among construction workers, with an annual average of more than 300 fatalities. To better understand why, CPWR surveyed 495 people who experienced, witnessed, or investigated a fall incident. In a new report summarizing their responses, participants said they believed that a lack of adequate planning is a key underlying cause of falls. Lack of planning was also associated with a lower likelihood of using fall protection. Learn about these key findings and others in Underlying Causes of Falls from Heights.
Latest Data Dashboards Examine Hazardous Exposures, Labor Costs
CPWR’s Data Center has just posted two more Data Dashboards, bringing the total number of these interactive and timely tools to 21. Because construction workers often encounter harmful substances on the job site, including asbestos, lead, and respirable crystalline silica, the first dashboard examines OSHA citations for violations of the relevant standards for those hazards. The second dashboard focuses on work income and benefits of people employed in the construction industry, broken down by characteristics such as demographics, subsector, occupation, and union status. As always, the data behind these dashboards is available for download. 
New Toll-free Number – 988 – for Mental Health Help
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has transitioned its previous, ten-digit suicide prevention lifeline to the three-digit number, 9-8-8, which offers compassionate, accessible care and support to anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. Americans can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. The 988 network, which is made up of over 200 centers answering calls, chats, and texts, is looking to bring on new volunteers and paid employees. Also, visit CPWR’s mental health pages for guidance on topics such as suicide prevention and opioid use.

New Challenge from the Safe + Sound Campaign
OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign, which encourages workplaces to have strong safety and health programs, has announced the latest Find & Fix Hazards Challenge: Eyes on SafetyWorkplace inspections are an important tool for identifying hazards and resolving them. Whether you inspect your workplace on a regular basis or are just getting your workplace safety and health program started, conduct a safety walkaround to show how you have Eyes on Safety today: Take the Challenge! As in previous years, CPWR is an organizing partner in Safe + Sound.

New Infographics on Falls, Struck-By Incidents
CPWR’s growing collection of infographics has two additions. Walk This Way focuses on roofers, emphasizing the importance of proper shoes and proper technique for walking on sloped roofs. How Heavy is Deadly offers a chart showing the effect objects of various weights have when dropped specific distances: even a tape measure that falls 6 feet can cause a serious injury.
New Study Assesses Distance Learning for OSH Training, Makes Recommendations
CPWR has just released a report evaluating which factors affect the success of safety and health training delivered through distance learning. Using the OSHA 510 and 500 courses, the evaluation shows evidence supporting the effectiveness of synchronous, interactive distance learning techniques. It also identified trainee characteristics and other elements of training that are critical for success in technology-based formats. The report offers recommendations for continuous quality improvement and suggestions for future research on using distance technology for occupational safety and health training.

Hearing impairment and tinnitus among older construction workers employed at DOE facilities, Knut Ringen, John M. Dement, Patricia Quinn, Marianne Cloeren, Anna Chen, Kim Cranford, Scott Haas. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2022. Read the Key Finding.

Small Study Grant Funding Available
Our Small Study Program, which supports promising new research initiatives on improving construction safety and health, has a particular interest in studies that plan to work with and/or target small employers. We define small employers as those with 19 employees or fewer. We are giving priority to funding studies aimed at:
  • Reaching high-risk populations: small employers, vulnerable workers, residential and light commercial construction firms
  • Developing applicable, practical interventions
  • Engaging stakeholders, through partnerships and other means, to better understand the barriers to and motivators for adoption of best practices
  • Addressing emerging issues and exploring new technologies
  • Evaluating promising research translation products and dissemination strategies
  • Disseminating good practices to small employers

For more information, including how to apply, visit the Small Study Program on CPWR’s website.

Share Your Exposure Measurements
If you have exposure measurements for silica, welding fumes, lead, or noise, CPWR needs your help!

The Exposure Control Database (ECD), a free online tool that estimates your workers’ exposure to common health hazards, is expanding. If you have data that you are willing to share, please submit it to CPWR to make the ECD more accurate and reliable. If you have any questions, contact Sara Brooks ([email protected], 301-495-8532) with any questions. The following sampling forms are available to submit measurements:
Thursday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Improving JHA and pre-task planning in electrical construction: A workers’ perspective
Pre-task planning and job hazard analysis (JHA) can serve an important role in proactively recognizing and addressing hazards to prevent work-related incidents; however, they are primarily based on compliance and typically lack the input of the workers performing the tasks. To improve the effectiveness of pre-task planning and JHA, it is critical to include more detailed task-specific information, particularly from the workers’ perspective, and provide evidence-based solutions that will create safer working conditions. Join Babak Memarian, CPWR’s director of exposure control technologies, and Jerry Rivera, safety director at the Washington, DC, chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, as they discuss how a current CPWR research project strives to fill the gap between current and best practices for planning, particularly in the high-risk trade of electrical construction.

Tuesday, August 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Addressing the Persistently High Rates of Fatal and Nonfatal Falls in Construction (hosted by ISHN)

During this webinar, Amber Trueblood, director of CPWR's Data Center, will describe the latest data on falls, slips, and trips in the construction industry, including trends by year, subsector, and injury characteristics. She will also review several interactive data dashboards CPWR has developed to allow users to closely follow injury trends and customize the information. CPWR's Research to Practice Director Jessica Bunting will then will share lessons on underlying causes of falls and free resources to address them, including planning tools, videos, and toolbox talks.

CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has openings for three positions:

Visit our Career Opportunities page for instructions on applying.