From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
June 2022
Resources for Safe Summer Construction
Summer weather creates additional safety hazards for construction workers -- heat, lightning, exposure to the sun, and more – and climate change is increasing those risks. To help workers protect themselves from heat-related illnesses and other hazards, CPWR offers a range of resources, including Toolbox Talks, Hazard Alert Cards, and infographics. Our Working in Hot Weather webpage also has collected relevant material from OSHA and NIOSH.
New Drywall System Wins Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award
DPR Construction’s collaborative partnership with Canvas to pilot the latter's robotic drywall finishing tool -- featuring a sprayer system, lift station, mechanical arm, and vacuum sanding system -- has received the 2022 Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award in Construction for how it mitigates the riskiest aspects of drywall work. The award, now in its third year, recognizes innovative evidence-based technologies, work practices, and programs designed to reduce or eliminate hazards that lead to injuries and pain in the construction industry. Honorable mentions went to two recipients: the Studson SHK-1 Industrial Safety Helmet, which utilizes Koryod™ material to offer breathability and direct and angled head protection, as well as featuring an NFC Chip to store emergency medical information, and the RECLEAN Pilot Study, which helps construction workers reduce the likelihood of secondary lead exposures to their household. The 2023 Liberty Mutual Award will begin accepting nominations this December.
New Challenge from the Safe + Sound Campaign
OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign, which encourages workplaces to have strong safety and health programs, has announced the latest Find & Fix Hazards Challenge: Eyes on SafetyWorkplace inspections are an important tool for identifying hazards and resolving them. Whether you inspect your workplace on a regular basis or are just getting your workplace safety and health program started, conduct a safety walkaround to show how you have Eyes on Safety today: Take the Challenge! As in previous years, CPWR is an organizing partner in Safe + Sound.
Pain and Prescription Opioid Use Among US Construction Workers: Findings From the 2011-2018 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Xiuwen Sue Dong, Raina Brooks, Christopher Rodman, Richard Rinehart, and Samantha Brown. American Journal of Public Health, 2022. Read the Key Finding.
Psychological distress and suicidal ideation among male construction workers in the United States. Xiuwen Sue Dong, Raina D. Brooks, Samantha Brown, and William Harris. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 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 chemical 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. 

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:
Tuesday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m .ET (1 hr)
Joint AIHA-CPWR Webinar: Addressing Four Major Health-Related Hazards in Construction
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) published a guidance document in 2019 on four key health hazards in construction. Modeled after the successful OSHA Focus Four program that targets the top four construction safety hazards, Focus Four for Health raises awareness of the significant impacts health hazards can have on workers and businesses and offers practical solutions to address them. The AIHA initiative addresses: (1) manual material handling, (2) noise, (3) air contaminants, and (4) high temperatures. Learn more about the risks and hear recommendations from Barb Epstien of the AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter, who was part of the team that developed the guidance document, and find out how CPWR’s Exposure Control Database can help contractors estimate and plan for exposure to silica, welding fumes, noise, and lead from Sara Brooks, an industrial hygienist at CPWR.

Jueves 16 de junio de 2:00 p.m. ET
Seminario web conjunto con OSHA-NIOSH-CPWR: Enfermedades y muertes relacionadas con el calor en la construcción
Los trabajadores de la construcción que pasan el día trabajando al aire libre bajo la luz solar directa y en el calor, o en espacios cerrados y calurosos, corren el riesgo de contraer enfermedades relacionadas con el calor, como agotamiento por calor o insolación. Algunos incluso pueden morir, especialmente en esta época del año cuando las temperaturas se disparan. La buena noticia es que hay formas de proteger a los trabajadores, como implementar descansos frecuentes para beber agua y tomar sombra, capacitarse sobre enfermedades relacionadas con el calor, y aumentar gradualmente la carga de trabajo para los empleados que no tienen experiencia trabajando en el calor. En apoyo de la Campaña de prevención de enfermedades por calor de OSHA y el nuevo programa de énfasis nacional para proteger a los trabajadores de los peligros del calor, estamos realizando un seminario web para compartir información sobre el riesgo, las responsabilidades del empleador y las recomendaciones para trabajar de manera segura en ambientes calurosos.

  • Jose H. Herrera, Especialista en la Seguridad y Salud Laboral, Dirección de Construcción de OSHA
  • Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH, CDR, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps / Analista de Salud Pública, Oficina de Seguridad y Salud de la Construcción de NIOSH
  • Pablo Palmandez, Investigador para PNASH
  • Michael Aguilar, Research to Practice (r2p) Program Assistant/Asistente de programa, CPWR – El Centro de Investigacion y Capacitacion de la Construccion

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, June 9, 1:30 p.m. (1 hr.)
The Opioid Crisis in the Construction Industry 
The Office of Workforce Investment (OWI) at the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration’s is hosting a series of technical assistance on the role of the workforce system in serving individuals with substance use disorders. OWI, in partnership with the CPWR is hosting a webinar on mental health and opioid conditions in the construction industry, highlighting current research and sharing evidence-based solutions. Featured speakers include Chris Trahan Cain, CPWR's executive director, and Christopher Rodman, CPWR's opioids project coordinator.

CPWR in the News
Career Opportunities
CPWR has an opening for a Program Assistant. Visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more and for instructions on applying.
Speaking Engagements
June 8-10, Berlin, Germany -- XXXIst International Symposium of the ISSA Construction Section, “How to Reach Vision Zero in Construction

June 8, 4:30 – 4:50 p.m. – Plenary Session
  • Rick Rinehart, Deputy Director, CPWR – “New digital developments in the construction industry”