CPWR UPDATE
From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
March 2022
New Data Bulletin Examines Construction Employment
The March 2022 issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin focuses on two topics: 1) employment trends from 2011 to 2021, including the impact of COVID-19, and 2) employment projections through 2030. It finds that from 2011 to 2019, while employment grew 12.6% in all industries, it rose 26.7% in construction. Over the past decade, there were increases in the construction workforce among those who were 55 years or older, Hispanic, and/or female. Construction employment is projected to grow 4.4% in total from 2020 to 2030, with Construction of Buildings (NAICS 236) increasing the fastest (+4.9%), and the largest number of openings during this period will be for laborers, 1.4 million.

Three New Data Dashboards on Employment in Construction
CPWR’s Data Center has launched three Data Dashboards, all of which examine construction employment. The first looks at employment trends, including overall increases or decreases and differences among workforce segments, such as age groups. The second explores forecasts for future employment in the industry, including specific occupational categories. The third concentrates on women’s employment, with details on characteristics, such as age and occupation. As with all of the dashboards, the data for these three can be downloaded as a spreadsheet.
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
Take Part in This Year’s Struck-By and Falls Stand-Downs
2022 promises to be a big year for construction, particularly with infrastructure work. As new projects begin and new workers enter the industry, it is critical for employers to put safety front and center, and the stand-downs can help build safer job sites.
 
3rd Annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents: April 11-15
This year’s Struck-by Stand-Down, organized by the NORA Construction Sector Council Struck-by Work Group, is expanding from a one-day event to a full week of activities to coordinate with National Work Zone Awareness Week. As the Stand-Down has grown, its topics have increased to include not only work zone safety but also lift zone safety, heavy equipment, dropped objects, and other sources of struck-by injuries. During the Stand-Down, CPWR and the Struck-by Work Group will host a series of webinars covering relevant topics.


Visit CPWR’s Struck-By pages for more information and resources.
 
9th Annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: May 2-6
The OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR Stand-Down to Prevent Falls will again take place during the first week of May. The Stand-Down is a week-long event organized by the National Campaign to Prevent Falls and the NORA Construction Sector Council to raise awareness around fall hazards and the importance of preventing them. Employers across the country are invited to pause work on their job sites to engage in inspecting fall protection equipment, conducting training, joining one of the Falls Campaign’s webinars, or any other Stand-Down activities that emphasize and improve fall safety. For more information about what this year holds, watch January’s Falls Campaign webinar on the importance of a year-round fall prevention program and check out CPWR’s One-Stop Stand-Down Shop to order resources materials, download Toolbox Talks, find social media messaging, and much more.
RESEARCH NEWS
A Practical Model for Measuring and Mitigating Safety Risks of Using UAS in Construction
Yelda Turkan and Yiye Xu. CPWR Small Study, 2022.
The researchers developed a practical model to establish, assess, and improve mitigation programs that construction companies have for controlling safety risks generated by using unmanned aerial systems (drones). Read the Key Finding and the full report

Obstacles and Solutions to Implementing Job Hazard Analysis in Construction: A Case Study
Memarian B, Brooks S B, and Le J C. International Journal of Construction Education and Research, January 2022.
This study pursued two objectives: 1) explore challenges and shortcomings of current practices in developing and implementing a job hazard analysis (JHA) and 2) identify effective practices and interventions contractors can employ to enhance the quality of the JHA process. Read the Key Finding and the abstract.

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 (sbrooks@cpwr.com, 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.
NEWS & EVENTS
Webinars
Wednesday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1 hour)
Drones in Construction
According to a recent survey of construction companies by Dodge Data & Analytics, 37% of contractors are currently using drones on their job sites, with an additional 6% expecting to begin use in the future. Drones give users the ability to observe job sites and track progress, but they can also play a critical role in assessing and monitoring workplace hazards and safety concerns. In this hour-long webinar, hear from three university researchers who conducted CPWR Small Studies exploring use of drones to improve safety and health, as well as the potential for new hazards generated by the drones themselves:
 
  • Rod Handy, University of Utah -- Nebulizer-retrofitted drone deployment at residential construction sites
  • Masoud Gheisari, University of Florida -- Using unmanned aerial systems for automated fall hazard monitoring in high-rise construction
  • Yiye Xu, Oregon State University -- A practical model for measuring and mitigating safety risks of using UAS in construction

 
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.
 
Thursday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Identifying and Addressing Top Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in the Construction Industry (hosted by Occupational Health & Safety)
This presentation will focus on trends related to some of the most dangerous job site hazards such as falls, electrocutions, struck-by, caught-in/between, and even COVID-19. Amber Trueblood, assistant director of CPWR’s Data Center, will review recent research while also sharing interactive data dashboards that allow users to access and manipulate construction industry safety and health data to aid in priority setting, decision making, and education efforts.
Research to Practice (r2p) Director Jessica Bunting will then share some of CPWR’s resources, focusing on two upcoming annual events that address some of the top construction hazards: the National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents (April 11-15) and The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction (May 2-6).
 


Friday, March 11, 2022, 11:00 a.m. ET
The Mental Health Crisis in the Construction Industry: How Can We Respond (hosted by CIDCI)
By 2019, suicide had become the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and construction workers are six to seven times more likely than the average worker to die from an opioid overdose. The pandemic has exacerbated these conditions, with recent research showing that nearly one in every six construction workers report feelings of anxiety and/or depression. Three CPWR staff members – Executive Director Chris Trahan Cain, Deputy Director Rick Rinehart, and Opioids Project Coordinator Chris Rodman -- will discuss mental health and opioid conditions in construction, highlighting current research and sharing evidence-based solutions.
 
CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has openings for a:

  • Program Assistant
  • Training Specialist 
 
Visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more and for instructions on applying.
Speaking Engagements
10:00 a.m. ET – Nanomaterial Exposure Risks among Construction Workers
  • Gavin West, Director, Nanomaterials Research, CPWR
  • Bruce Lippy, Nanomaterials Research, CPWR

March 7, 12:00–1:00 p.m. CT: Nanomaterials in Construction
  • Sara Brooks, Industrial Hygienist, CPWR
  • Gavin West, Director, Nanomaterials Research, CPWR
March 8, 10:15–11:15 a.m. CT: Practical Lessons in Job Hazard Analysis
  • Sara Brooks, Industrial Hygienist, CPWR
  • Babak Memarian, Director, Exposure Control Technologies Research, CPWR

3:10-4:15 p.m. – Poster Presentation: Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Hispanic Construction Workers
  • Samantha Brown, Research Analyst, CPWR