From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
May 2021
New Data Bulletin Examines Struck-By Incidents
Struck-by hazards are one of the leading causes of fatalities and the largest contributor to nonfatal injuries in the construction industry. April’s Data Bulletin—released in conjunction with last week’s Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents—examines fatal and nonfatal struck-by injuries in construction from 2011 through 2019. Among its key findings: in 2019, struck-by incidents caused 170 deaths, 47% of which involved transport vehicles, and between 2011 and 2019, the rate of nonfatal struck-by and struck-against injuries in construction declined by 20% and 47%, respectively.
Data Center Launches Fatality Map Dashboard
To continue raising awareness of construction hazards and the need for improved safety in the industry, CPWR’s Data Center has developed the Construction Fatality Map Dashboard. It builds on the Construction Fatality Maps, which were launched in 2011 to support the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. The new dashboard combines data from OSHA fatality investigations and online media sources gathered since 2011. It allows computer or mobile device users to search construction fatalities by four filters: Year, Event Type (major categories such as falls), State, and Date.
New Resources on Falls, Struck-By Incidents
In support of this week’s Falls Stand-Down and last week’s Struck-By Stand-Down, CPWR added new infographics on topics such as Working on Existing Decking and Best Practices for Safe Crane Lifts and conducted a series of webinars that are now available on demand. Learn more about each of these leading causes of fatalities and injuries at either the Stop Construction Falls website and our Struck-By Hazards web page

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].
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:
Falls Experience Survey
To improve our resources and outreach efforts, we are conducting a fall experience survey to learn more about the root causes of falls from heights. If you have experienced, witnessed, or investigated a fall incident, please consider completing the survey.
COPD risk among older construction workers—Updated analyses 2020
John M. Dement, Marianne Cloeren, Knut Ringen, Patricia Quinn, Anna Chen, Kim Cranford, Scott Haas. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2021. Read the Key Finding.
Preventing Opioid-Related Harms in the Construction Industry
Cora Roelofs, Christopher Rodman, Richard Rinehart, and Chris T. Cain. NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, 2021. 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
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.
Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1 hour) -- CPWR-NIOSH COVID-19 Webinar Series: COVID-19 Science & Policy Update with Dr. John Howard
As we begin to return to “normal,” this update will provide guidance on the best ways to continue keeping workers and their families safe. Hear from Dr. John Howard, director of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about the latest information and research on COVID-19 transmission, testing, variants of the virus, vaccination and vaccine programs, and other return-to-work issues. Scott Earnestassociate director for construction at NIOSH, will then moderate a Q+A session.

Please be aware that CPWR's webinar platform enables 1,000 people to attend live; however, everyone who registers for the event will automatically receive the recording. 

Past Webinars
Learn more about CPWR's recent webinars on COVID-19 and the construction industry, as well as webinars on a wide range of safety and health topics. All are available for viewing on-demand.
CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has job openings, including to be Assistant Director, Data Center. Visit our Career Opportunities page for all current postings and instructions for applying.
Speaking Engagements

1:00 – 2:00: N3: Exposures, Toxicity, and Hazard Communication of Nanomaterials in Construction
  • Bruce Lippy, Nanomaterials Research (moderator)
  • Gavin West, Director, Nanomaterials Research (presenter)
  • Laura Boatman, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (presenter)
  • Aaron Erdely, CDC/NIOSH/HELD (presenter)
Conferences and Workshops
May 26-27, 2021 Online -- PtD as We Move into the Post-COVID Era
Prevention through Design (PtD) has the potential to reduce workers' exposure to safety and health hazards. A virtual PtD workshop, hosted by Arizona State University and funded by NIOSH, will take place May 26 and 27, 2021 and focus on what we have learned in the past year that can be translated to improving PtD moving into the post-COVID era. This workshop offers an excellent opportunity for architects, engineers, contractors, construction companies, project owners, insurers, and academia to exchange and leverage their experiences and expertise on PtD practices. Registration is now open.