From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
February 2021
Applications Due February 28 for 2021
Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award
The Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award in Construction honors innovative, evidence-based interventions -- including technologies, work practices, and programs -- to reduce hazards for construction workers. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual and administered by CPWR, the award includes a $15,000 cash prize to the winning individual or organization. One or more honorable mentions may also be awarded, each with a $5,000 prize. Applications are due February 28; learn more about the award on our website, including about last year’s honorees. 
Save the Date: April 26th --
National Struck-by Stand-Down
Mark your calendars! CPWR and the NORA Construction Sector Council are planning a second annual Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents in Construction for April 26. The Stand-Down, to take place on the first day of National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 26-30), asks contractors to pause work to recognize that struck-by incidents are a leading cause of death among construction workers and to educate their crews about risks and solutions for mitigating them. To make the Stand-Down a success during COVID-19, we are encouraging contractors, workers, and other stakeholders to participate virtually. More information on ways to participate will be posted on CPWR's Work Zone Safety webpage soon.      
New Guidance on Indoor Site Ventilation
CPWR and the NORA Construction Sector Council COVID-19 Work Group have developed Quick Tips to Increase Ventilation at Indoor Construction Sites Without Operating HVAC Systems. As temperatures drop, construction work is moving inside, work areas are being enclosed, and temporary warm-up stations are being set up – and COVID-19 is airborne and spreads faster and further in enclosed areas than outdoors. This guidance offers more than a dozen recommendations for helping keep construction workers safe on indoor job sites.

CPWR COVID-19 Exposure Control Planning Tool
CPWR has developed multiple resources to help protect workers from COVID-19, prevent its spread, and keep job sites open, including the free, online COVID-19 Exposure Control Planning Tool. OSHA and NIOSH recommend that employers have a plan to assess the risk and take action, and our tool lets users create their plan in four steps:

  1. Assess the risk for exposure to COVID-19 and the control measures that will be used to prevent exposure, such as using physical distancing.
  2. Establish a protocol for screening workers and visitors and handling those who become sick or may have been exposed on the job.
  3. Identify the COVID-19-related training that will be provided, including who will be trained, how the training will be provided, and who will conduct the training.
  4. Complete the final elements of the plan, including information about the job and who will be responsible for implementing the plan.

The planning tool is aligned with the COVID-19 Construction Clearinghouse to make it easy to find additional information on ways to implement controls, conduct screenings, and provide training. The tool is still evolving; if you have questions or ideas to improve it, please email [email protected].
New Report Examines Effectiveness of Virtual Safety and Health Training
The Use of Distance Learning in Occupational Health and Safety Training: Assessing Effectiveness and Sustainability in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic evaluates CPWR’s transition to distance-learning safety and health training because of COVID-19. The report addresses the effectiveness of the safety training content and distance learning format, as measured by surveys of students and instructors, and the feasibility of integrating the distance learning format into future training efforts. Both the full report and the executive summary are now available.
2020 Annual Report Available Now
The 2020 edition of Highlights, CPWR’s annual report, details the multiple ways our staff and colleagues across the industry have, during this difficult year, managed to improve the safety and health of construction workers. Highlights shows how our research, training and service programs both responded to COVID-19 and continued to make progress on other topics, including as falls, emerging technologies like exoskeletons or nanomaterials, mental health, and safety culture. This progress resulted, as it does every year, from the collaboration, commitment and creativity of many people, including construction workers, unions, contractors, researchers, government officials, and medical experts.
Small Study Grant Funding Now 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 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.
CPWR’s webinar series will resume soon. Until then, check out the archive of past webinars on topics such as COVID-19, ergonomics, falls, silica, safety climate and safety culture, and weather conditions. All are available for free on-demand. 

CPWR Executive Director Chris Trahan Cain will be a panelist on the first webinar in NIOSH’s 2021 Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series: Exploring the future of worker health and safety in the post-pandemic world. This webinar, taking place March 10, will explore perspectives on worker health and safety of labor associations of major industry sectors in the U.S. Register here.
CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has job openings -- visit our Career Opportunities page for current postings and instructions on applying.