CPWR UPDATE
From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
November 2021
New Data Bulletin Focuses on Safety Management During Pandemic
The November 2021 issue of the CPWR Data Bulletin examines construction safety management during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Data Bulletin summarizes impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and on safety and health priorities, including plans, practices, and policies to prevent viral spread. It analyzes data from Census Bureau’s weekly Small Business Pulse Surveys and from the 2021 Construction Safety Management Survey by Dodge Data & Analytics with support from CPWR. The Bulletin’s key findings show that nearly two-thirds of construction businesses reported a moderate to large negative effect of COVID-19 and that unionized and larger firms were more likely than nonunion and smaller ones to have a written plan and practices regarding COVID-19.
 
Data Dashboards Examine Construction Businesses, Construction Business Owners
Construction businesses and their owners are the topics of two just-published Data Dashboards. Characteristics of Construction Businesses displays major industry features for both employer (payroll) and nonemployer (independent contractors and self-employed people without employees and payroll) businesses, including the number of businesses and the value they produced. Characteristics of Construction Business Owners provides information on both employer and nonemployer firms by owner demographics. The two dashboards are new elements of CPWR’s work to collect, analyze and share timely and accurate data related to construction safety and health.
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
Opioid Awareness Training Program Updated
The NABTU Opioid Hazard Awareness and Prevention Training Program has been updated with current data and other improvements. Intended for use by experienced instructors, the training program increases awareness of opioids and decreases the stigma associated with opioid use. The latest version updates the main presentation and the facilitator guide. 
 
Updated COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs Available in Spanish
Version five of COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for the Construction Industry is now available in Spanish. Developed in collaboration with several universities and NIOSH, the FAQs describe the science and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for the construction industry. This FAQ is part of CPWR’s collection of material to help keep workers safe during the pandemic.
RESEARCH NEWS
Research Request: Reducing MSDs from Manual Materials Handling
Learn how to prevent strains and sprains on your job site from manual materials handling (MMH) and at the same time provide feedback to improve CPWR’s research-backed Best Built Plans program for MMH. To participate, contact Marco Barrera at Washington University in St. Louis, mbarrera@wustl.edu or (314) 258-3146.
 
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 in your email, 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 (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
Our webinar series will resume November 18 with “An Overview of OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program and Compliance Assistance Resources.” Watch for a separate email with the details, including how to register.

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 an opening for a Training Specialist -- visit our Career Opportunities page for instructions on applying.
Speaking Engagements
Call for Abstracts
The organizers of the XXXIst International Symposium of the ISSA Construction Section are now calling for abstracts. The symposium --“How to Reach Vision Zero in Construction”— will take place this coming June in Berlin and focus on strategies to further reduce the number of accidents and occupational diseases in the industry. Abstracts for presentations and posters should describe experiences and successes in the application of Vision Zero’s 7 Golden Rules and innovative approaches that can help minimize health hazards in construction. Submissions are due November 15.