From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
December 2021
Submit Safety Innovations for the 2022 Liberty Mutual Award
Nominations are now open for the 2022 Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award in Construction, which recognizes innovative approaches for reducing or eliminating hazards that lead to injuries and pain for construction workers. This intervention can be an evidence-based technology, work practice, program, or grass-roots campaign and media engagement focused on reaching smaller contractors or other underserved segments of the construction workforce. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance in partnership with CPWR, the award includes a $15,000 cash prize for the winning individual or organization; one or more honorable mentions may also be awarded. Learn more about the process and past recipients on the CPWR website. The submission deadline is February 28, 2022.

Latest Dashboard Combines Data on Employer, Nonemployer Establishments
The latest CPWR data dashboard provides a more complete view of the construction industry by bringing together data on establishments with payroll (that is, having employees) and those without (independent contractors and self-employed entities without employees and payroll). The data appears at the state and 4-digit NAICS level from 2012 through 2018. The dashboard builds from three earlier dashboards -- Characteristics of Construction Businesses, Characteristics of Construction Business Owners, and Construction Payroll Establishments and Employees -- to allow users to better understand the industry structure and trends over time.
Resources for Safer Winter Work
Working outside in cold, wet, icy, or snowy conditions can lead to serious dangers such as hypothermia and frostbite. CPWR’s website has collected material to help keep workers safe and healthy during the winter months, including our Toolbox Talk, Hazard Alert and infographics, as well as valuable information from other organizations like NIOSH and OSHA.  
New COVID-19 Vaccine Infographics
CPWR continues to provide the construction industry current information about COVID-19 vaccinations with five new infographics based on our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs resource. These infographics, which provide simple, straightforward information on COVID-19 vaccines, were created with support from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), and the NORA Construction Sector Council COVID-19 Work Group. They cover topics such as population immunity, who should get the vaccine, its effectiveness, side effects, and breakthrough infections.
New Small Studies Examine MSDs from Formwork, Human-Robot Interactions
Available now are two just-released Small Studies:
  • Identification and Assessment of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) Risk for Concrete Formwork Systems, by John Gambatese and Ziyu Jin, investigated the differences in work tasks and activities for different types of concrete formwork systems, assessed work-related MSD risks associated with different systems, and determined the prevalence and nature of MSDs in formwork construction. Read the Key Finding and the full report.
  • Protocol for Assessing Human-Robot Interaction Safety Risks, by Chukwuma Nnaji, John Gambatese, and Ifeanyi Okpala, shows how researchers developed a practical process and tools for practitioners to identify and quantify safety risks when using robotics and automation in construction operations. Read the Key Finding and the full report.
Research Request: Take Part in an Interview on Exoskeletons in Construction
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco/Berkeley and Virginia Tech are conducting one-on-one, confidential interviews with current construction workers who have used exoskeletons or with other experts (e.g., managers, owners, union reps, health and safety officers) to learn their perspectives on exoskeleton technology, with a focus on safety, health, and productivity. Interested in participating or have a question? Email Aanu Ojelade and include your job title and your experience using an exoskeleton. Participants in a one-hour interview will receive a $30 gift card. 

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:

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
We are also interested in innovative approaches to reducing the spread of COVID-19 through ventilation, distancing, and respirators. A study may be proposed at any time and can receive funding of up to $30,000. For more information, including how to apply, visit the Small Study Program on CPWR’s website.
Tuesday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET -- SmartMarket Report: Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2021
recent report from Dodge Data & Analytics, part of an ongoing series with CPWR, shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is leading contractors to adapt their focus on good safety management practices while maintaining their commitment to training. Contractors are as engaged in safety as they were in previous 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2019 surveys, and many have instituted new practices to address infectious disease exposure. Learn more from Dodge’s Donna Laquidara-Carr, who will discuss trends in safety management programs and practices, including the impact of COVID-19, types of training conducted, use of new technologies, and implementation of wellness initiatives.
CPWR’s webinar platform limits registration to 1,000 people. If you do not think you'll be able to attend live, please watch the recording of the webinar – all our webinars are available on-demand within a few days of their presentation.
CPWR in the News

11/3/2021 -- Engineering News-Record, “Construction 2020 Workplace Injuries Down but Illnesses Rise

11/28/2021 -- Safety+Health, “10 tips for preventing falls at work
Career Opportunities
CPWR has an opening for a Training Specialist -- visit our Career Opportunities page for instructions on applying.