From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
September 2022
Analyzing Transportation Injuries in Construction
Transportation incidents are a leading cause of injuries in construction: in 2020 they accounted for 25% of fatalities among all workers and 4% of nonfatal injuries among private wage-and-salary workers. The CPWR Data Center examines transportation injuries in two new resources, the September Data Bulletin and the Transportation Injuries in the Construction Industry data dashboard. They show that more than 2,600 workers died from transportation incidents over the past 10 years, that collisions with other vehicles were the most common event for nonfatal injuries, and that pedestrian vehicular incidents were the most common type of fatal event. The dashboard provides data by year, subsector, and detailed events, as well as the ability to examine rates and median days away from work for nonfatal injuries.
Resources for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, which is especially relevant for construction: workers in our industry have one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Learn more about how to recognize the signs, start a conversation, and play a role in supporting friends, co-workers, and family members. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) offers a Suicide Prevention Month Toolkit, which includes a social media toolkit, toolbox talks, posters, CIASP QR codes, logos, and other resources for the month. CPWR’s materials include a Hazard Alert Card, a Toolbox Talk, and infographics, as well as this month’s webinar, Preventing Suicide in the Construction Industry -- see below for details.
CPWR Receives Honorable Mention in EPA Let’s Talk About Heat Contest
To help address heat-related illnesses and deaths, the EPA launched a national competition to identify innovative and effective communication strategies that inform people of the risks of extreme heat and offer ways to keep safe during the hottest days. CPWR’s efforts -- which include an updated heat topic page, new infographics, and soon-to-be-published planning checklists to assist contractors and lead workers in protecting workers against heat hazards -- were recognized with an honorable mention.
New Set of Best Practices for Protecting Temporary Workers
Estimates suggest there may be as many as 16 million temporary workers in the U.S. during any given year. NIOSH and the NORA Services Sector Council -- in partnership with the American Society of Safety Professionals, the American Staffing Association, and the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention Program within Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industries -- have released a new set of best practices, Protecting Temporary Workers: Best Practices for Host Employers, to help host employers better protect the safety and health of temporary workers. 
High-risk Electrical Tasks and Contributing Work Factors. Babak Memarian, Sara B. Brooks, Jean Christophe Le, and Jerry E. Rivera. Professional Safety Journal, August 2022. Read the Key Finding and the full article.
2022 Survey: Struck-by Hazards, Barriers, and Opportunities
Struck-by incidents continue to be a leading cause of death and injury in construction and are a serious hazard facing construction workers as they rebuild the nation's roads and bridges through projects supported by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. A new survey from CPWR: 1) explores struck-by injuries, barriers to their prevention, and ways to raise awareness and ensure use of safe practices; 2) describes measures being taken to protect workers and the barriers to implementing controls; and 3) offers insights into industry knowledge of struck-by hazards, the role of planning in prevention, and the motivators, resources, and support needed to prevent incidents.

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.

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). The following sampling forms are available to submit measurements:
Thursday, September 8th at 2:00 p.m. ET (1 hour)
Preventing Suicide in the Construction Industry
Mental health is a growing concern in the construction industry. A 2020 report from the CDC shows that suicide among the U.S. working-age population is increasing, and that construction and extraction occupations have the highest rates of death by suicide of any occupational group. The first step in addressing this situation is talking about it. This webinar, taking place during National Suicide Prevention Month and Construction Suicide Prevention Week, features three panelists working on this topic: John Gaal, worker wellness director at the Missouri Works Initiative; Karena Lorek, area director of OSHA’s Kansas City Area Office; and Christopher Rodman, opioid projects coordinator at CPWR. Join us to learn more about the impact of suicide, signs and symptoms to be aware of, and contributing factors such as high rates of opioid use disorder. Panelists will also share information about efforts undertaken and available resources from CPWR, OSHA, Missouri AFL-CIO, the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP), and others. Moderating the webinar will be Jessica Bunting, CPWR’s research to practice director and a board member at the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 
CPWR in the News
Energy Sec. Granholm Visits CPWR Training
Last month, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited a CPWR 40-hour Hazardous Waste Worker class at the Volpentest HAMMER Federal Training Center at DOE’s Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. Conducted by CPWR’s worker trainers, led by Ed Seitz (pictured here with the Secretary), the training is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). It focuses on protecting construction workers by preparing them to handle hazardous waste cleanup at the Hanford site. Secretary Granholm’s tour began at the HAMMER Training Facility in recognition of DOE’s safety-first approach to cleaning up the site.

Report ties worker falls to company policies, Construction Dive, 8/11/22
Career Opportunities
CPWR has openings for three positions:

Visit our Career Opportunities page for instructions on applying.
Speaking Engagements
September 14, Nashville -- 2022 Construction Risk Management Conference
4:00 p.m. – Innovation in the construction industry
  • Alanna Klein, Risk Control Product Director, Construction and Energy, Liberty Mutual
  • Babak Memarian, Director of Exposure Control Technologies Research, CPWR
  • Tyler Williams, Field & Craft Innovation Leader, DPR Construction