February 2020
From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director

Responding to Opioids' Impact on Construction Workers 

The construction industry has been hit particularly hard by opioids, with state-level studies finding that construction workers are six to seven times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than workers in other professions. CPWR is playing a leading role in helping our industry respond to this danger, including two new resources:
  • A training program, intended to be used by experienced NABTU instructors, that is designed to increase awareness of opioids and decrease stigma associated with opioid use. The training program is available now, launched in a beta version that is under evaluation. We anticipate this program will be refined in the coming months, so if you download it, please check back for improved versions.
  • Our latest Quarterly Data Report, which looks at overdoses on job sites, the prevalence of prescribed opioid use and drug abuse, and the association of work-related injuries with prescription opioid use. Among the findings: between 2011 and 2017, one in four construction workers with work-related injuries used prescribed opioid pain relievers.
Also, the CPWR website offers resources with information about preventing opioid use. This month's webinar (see below) focuses on this crucial topic as well.

Working Safely in Cold Weather
Working outside in cold weather can lead to serious health problems, including hypothermia and frostbite. Our website offers a range of resources showing how to work safely in cold, wet, icy, or snowy conditions, including a Hazard Alert, a Toolbox Talk, and an infographic.

Protecting Workers' Hearing
Hearing loss is a serious health issue for construction workers: three out of every four are overexposed to noise on a jobsite. Our Preventing Hearing Loss page includes the Construction Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention Training Program, which offers modules and exercises that can be used on their own or as part of OSHA 10- or 30-hour courses, and other resources, including a Hazard Alert, a Toolbox Talk, and infographics.

Annual Report Out Now
1.2 million website sessions. 800,000 printed publications distributed. 100% satisfaction among former nuclear site workers. 13 new research projects. Those are only a few of the stories in Highlights 2019: Building on Success, CPWR's annual report. Building on Success captures the work of our research, training, and service programs -- including the ongoing support of industry stakeholders and our funding agencies, advisory boards, and parent organization -- to improve construction worker safety and health.

February 29 Deadline to Apply for Safety Innovation Award
Applications close at the end of the month for the Liberty Mutual Safety Innovation Award in Construction, which will honor individuals and organizations that have developed new, evidence-based interventions for improving safety. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual and administered by CPWR, the award includes a $15,000 cash prize to the winning individual or organization.

New Dodge Report Examines Safety Management in Construction
The new Safety Management in the Construction Industry SmartMarket Report from Dodge Data & Analytics, published with support from CPWR and Procore, finds that workers continue to be a critical part of construction jobsite safety programs, and new data shows that firms increasingly rely on the leadership of their supervisors to improve safety.
Thursday, February 27th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET: Opioid Use & Worksite Overdose Fatalities in the Construction Industry: A Look at the Data and CPWR Resources & Efforts (1 hour)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed 47,600 people in 2017, and 35% of those involved a prescription opioid. Construction workers are among the segments of the U.S. population opioids have hit hardest. Recent state-level studies of opioid overdose deaths show that construction workers are six to seven times more likely to die of an overdose than workers in other professions.

Learn more about this issue, including what we know about workers who died of an overdose on worksites and gaps in our understanding of the impact of opioids on construction workers, as CPWR Data Center Director Sue Dong reviews the latest Quarterly Data Report. Then hear from Chris T. Cain, CPWR's executive director, about CPWR's resources and efforts to address the hazard.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET: Fall Protection Q&A Panel (1 hour)
Falls remain a leading cause of on-the-job injuries and fatalities, and the ANSI/ASSP Z359 Fall Protection Code provides an overall blueprint to help prevent injuries and illnesses for workers at height. Share your questions with members of the Z359 Committee and learn how to apply the code to your fall protection efforts.

For a more detailed description and to register, visit the CPWR website.

Miss our last webinarSee the complete list of past webinars and listen to the recordings.
CPWR in the News
CPWR Releases New Safety + Health Resources for the New Year, Construction Superintendent News, January 20, 2020

Using aerial lifts safely, Safety + Health, January 26, 2020
Career Opportunities
CPWR has job openings -- visit our Career Opportunities page for current postings and instructions on applying.
CPWR Staff Presentations
2/12/20, New Orleans -- Louisiana State Building and Construction Trades Conference
Discussion: "The Work of CPWR"
  • Steve Surtees, Director, Environmental Careers Worker Training Program

3/3/20, Chicago -- 2020 Construction Expo & Safety Conference
Panel: "Addressing Common Hazards with New Resources: Silica and Noise in Construction"
  • Sara Brooks, Industrial Hygienist
  • Jessica Bunting, Assistant Director, Research to Practice

Upcoming Meetings
3/11/20, Tempe, Arizona -- Prevention through Design Workshop 2020
Part of Arizona State University's five-year Prevention-through-Design (PtD) Initiative, this one-day workshop will enable participants to exchange and leverage their experiences and expertise on PtD research, practice, and education efforts. Participants will receive Continuing Education Units at the end of the workshop. Registration (which involves a nominal fee) is open now.

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, 8484 Georgia Ave. #1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910
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