From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
January 2021
New Data Bulletin Focuses on Nonfatal Injuries
This new issue of the CPWR Data Bulletin examines nonfatal injuries in construction between 2003 and 2019, identifying trends by injury cause, establishment size, subsector, and demographics. It finds that although injury rates in construction have declined steadily since 2003, they were still 29% higher than all industries combined in 2019. Nearly one-third of construction injuries were due to contact with objects or equipment, the Bulletin reports, and injury rates among establishments with 11 to 49 employees were five times the rates for those with 1,000 or more employees.
Applications Due Next Month 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. 
New COVID-19 Infographics
CPWR has posted three new COVID-19 infographics that offer guidance on staying safe during the pandemic. Download the infographics -- which are available in English and Spanish -- for use in social media, presentations, print materials, and on your website; they can also be printed and posted in central locations on job sites as reminders of the benefits of following safe practices.

Request for Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines
The U.S. has now authorized two COVID-19 vaccinations for distribution and use, with more on the way. CPWR is welcoming questions from workers and employers about the vaccines and will work to obtain answers relevant to the construction industry. Email your questions to [email protected].

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].
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.
We are planning a webinar for later this month that will focus on questions about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and share information about ventilation to control COVID-19 at construction sites. Be on the lookout an announcement in the coming days. 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 in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has job openings -- visit our Career Opportunities page for current postings and instructions on applying.