From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
October 2022
Building Safety with Recent Research
Three recent CPWR reports offer guidance for making construction workers safer on the job. Earlier this year our Research to Practice program surveyed nearly 500 people who experienced, witnessed, or investigated a fall incident. In Underlying Causes of Falls from Heights, participants cited a lack of adequate planning as a key cause of falls, which continue to result in approximately 300 fatalities each year. A separate study examined struck-by incidents, including barriers to preventing them, measures that can protect workers, and the motivators, resources, and support needed to reduce and eliminate them. Finally, because training remains crucial to keeping workers safe, CPWR studied which factors affect the success of safety and health training delivered through distance learning, including recommendations for continuous quality improvement. This research will be topic of a webinar later this month – see below for how to register.

US Labor Dept. Selects CPWR-WVU Partnership for OSHA Training Institute Education Center
CPWR, in partnership with West Virginia University (WVU), has once again been awarded a non-financial cooperative agreement to continue to offer OSHA Training Institute Education Center courses under our National Resource Center. This selection recognizes the partnership's ability to support OSHA's training mission to provide safety and health training to workers and employers. CPWR offers these courses through the Building Trades Unions and to the public in OSHA Region III in partnership with WVU. For a listing of public courses, visit the NRC-WVU website.
New Podcast on Suicide Prevention
The tenth episode in CPWR’s Construction Safety and Health podcast series focuses on suicide prevention. Men in construction are dying from suicide at roughly twice the rate of workers in all industries, and this podcast examines contributing factors, signs and symptoms, and actions that can be taken by individuals, companies, and communities to destigmatize the issue and help one another. Dr. John Gaal, worker wellness director for the Missouri Works Initiative (Missouri AFL-CIO), shares his experience and recommendations from the perspective of someone with many years in the industry and who also lost his son to suicide. 
Also, share your feedback on the podcast series through a 5-minute, anonymous survey. Your input will help us improve the format, content, and value of the series.
Resources for Safer Winter Work
As temperatures start to fall, it’s important to remember that working outside in cold, wet, icy, or snowy conditions can lead to serious dangers such as hypothermia and frostbite. CPWR’s website has collected material to help keep workers safe and healthy during the winter months, including our Toolbox Talk, Hazard Alert and infographics, as well as valuable information from other organizations like NIOSH and OSHA.  
Preventing construction deaths: The role of public policies. Wayne B. Gray, John Mendeloff. Regulation & Governance, July 2022. 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

For more information, including how to apply, visit the Small Study Program on CPWR’s website.

Research Request: Take Part in a Study on Minimizing Painters’ Chemical Exposure
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell are looking for construction painters to participate in a study about minimizing exposure to hazardous Part B ingredients of reactive chemicals systems used in metal structure coatings. The researchers will be visiting workplaces to conduct field surveys, monitor airborne exposures and skin exposures, and collect biological samples to measure the effects of exposure and evaluate the efficacy of personal protective equipment and engineering controls. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for donating urine before and after the shift and an additional $50 for a blood sample. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] to learn more.
Wednesday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1 hour)
Overview of the U.S. Department of Energy Former Worker Medical Screening Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Former Worker Programs are partnering to host a public webinar that will share information about the national and site specific programs, including the Building Trades National Medical Screening Program (BTMed) administered by CPWR. The panelists will discuss the history and functions of the Former Worker Medical Screening Program, introductions to national and site-specific programs, and share medical screening findings. Representing BTMed will be Medical Program Manager Kim Cranford, RN, who will discuss the program and the free medical exams it offers construction workers who worked on DOE facilities.
Wednesday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET (1 hour) 
Evaluating the Effectiveness of OSH Training Delivered in a Distance Learning Format: Critical Factors for Success
CPWR conducts construction safety and health training for members of its consortium partners and affiliates of the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on businesses and communities, CPWR and its partners led a transition to distance learning for delivering occupational safety and health training to construction workers nationwide. Preliminary evaluations of this training format found support for the use of synchronous distance learning to enhance knowledge and skills, and CPWR identified several sets of best practices. In a new report, which will be the focus of this webinar, CPWR presents findings from a longer, comprehensive evaluation process that included comparative analyses of OSHA 510 and OSHA 500 trainings to assess effectiveness and impact of the distance learning format on both subjective and objective measures. Join Gary F. Gustafson, director of CPWR’s Environmental Hazards Training Program, and Sue Ann Sarpy of Sarpy and Associates for this webinar, which include Q and A at the end. 
CPWR in the News
Boost Productivity, Safety with Jobsite Stretch-and-Flex, Built – The Bluebeam Blog, 9/22/22

New Tool: SC-SMIS, Modern Contractor Solutions, 9/27/22
Career Opportunities
CPWR has openings for two positions:

Visit our Career Opportunities page for instructions on applying.
Speaking Engagements
October 31 – November 1, Hershey, PA – Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference
10/31, 2:45 p.m. – Falls in Construction: A Data-Driven Exploration of Trends and Underlying Causes
  • Grace Barlet, Research Analyst, CPWR
  • William Harris, Research Assistant, CPWR