CPWR UPDATE
From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
September 2021
Remembering 9/11, Responding to Disasters
This week CPWR honors those killed in the attacks on September 11th and the construction workers who became ill supporting first responders in rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center. Two decades later, far too many first responders and construction workers still suffer from exposures that occurred during the minutes and months following the attack. This Thursday and Friday, there will be a special convening of those involved in the WTC Health Program, hosted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
CPWR continues to offer, in partnership with the building trades unions, our disaster response training program so that when called to respond, the trades will be ready. Free NIEHS/CPWR Disaster Preparedness resources provide a full suite of training materials to workers who may be exposed to hazards on disaster sites. Users can access materials on more than a dozen topics, including Chemical Incidents, COVID-19, Debris Removal, Dirty Bombs, Earthquakes, Floods, Hurricanes, Mold Cleanup and Treatment, Oil Spills, and Wildfires. All of the resources are available on the web and in an Android app; the iOS app is currently being updated.
Data Bulletin Analyzes OSHA Inspections, Citations
The September Data Bulletin examines trends in OSHA inspections and citations from 2011 through 2020, including the impact of COVID-19. It shows that both inspections and citations declined over the past decade before plummeting since the start of the pandemic. Establishments with fewer than 10 employees were disproportionately likely to be cited for violations if inspected. Roughly one in five citations were for inadequate fall protection according to the federal OSHA standard, and more than 90% of those fall citations were serious, willful, or repeats. Accompanying the Data Bulletin are two new data dashboards, which examine (1) OSHA inspections and citations, and (2) construction payroll establishments and employees.
TOOLS FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH
New Podcasts on Preventing Falls
CPWR’s Construction Safety and Health podcast series has just added a two-part series on Fall Protection Standards and Improving Fall Protection Programs. Based on a webinar this spring to support the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, both episodes capture questions from stakeholders about using the ASSP/ANSI Z359 fall protection standards and improving fall protection programs. These two join four other episodes: another on falls and three on COVID-19. 
 
Reducing Construction Falls Year-Round
The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Construction Falls takes place once a year, but fall protection should be an ongoing priority. 10 Ways to Keep Your Fall Prevention Program Alive All Year Long is a new resource offering ideas for activities you can do anytime.
 
Just Posted: Updated FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccines
CPWR continues to update resources that can help keep construction workers safe from COVID-19. The new version of our document answering frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines includes information on the Delta variant, as well as explanations of how the vaccines work, their effectiveness, and many other important topics. Download the FAQs and see other CPWR resources for responding to the coronavirus.
 
Preventing Suicides in Construction
September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month, a reminder of the role all of us play in preventing what has become a leading cause of death for Americans. This awareness is particularly important for the construction industry, which has one of the highest suicide rates. Please share the growing collection of resources CPWR has developed or collected to help organizations and individuals in our industry understand the issue, start a conversation, and support friends, co-workers and family members.
RESEARCH NEWS
Characterization and Quantitation of Personal Exposures to Epoxy Paints in Construction Using a Combination of Novel Personal Samplers and Analytical Techniques. Yalong Xue, Anila Bello, and Dhimiter Bello. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 2021. Read the Key Finding.
 
Urinary biomonitoring of occupational exposures to Bisphenol A Diglycidyl Ether (BADGE) – based epoxy resins among construction painters in metal structure coating. Anila Bello, Yalong Xue, and Dhimiter Bello. Environmental International, 2021. Read the Key Finding.
 
Take a Survey on CPWR’s Communications
CPWR is evaluating our communications to learn how we can better support your work. As part of this process, we are conducting a survey on how our visitors use cpwr.com and other resources we offer, and we hope you will share your thoughts. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and we encourage you to share it with colleagues. All responses will be anonymous unless you agree to follow-up questions. Click here to complete the survey. 

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
Wednesday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET -- CPWR’s Small Study Program: Hear about funding opportunities and study findings
 
Join us for a 45-minute webinar to hear about CPWR’s Small Study Program, which provides seed money of up to $30,000 to investigate promising new research initiatives. Hear from Program Director Trish Quinn and three researchers who have completed a Small Study:
John Gambatese of Oregon State University and Ziyu Jin of the University of New Mexico, who focused on the identification and assessment of musculoskeletal disorders risk for concrete formwork systems, and Chukwuma Nnaji of the University of Alabama, who assessed human-robot interaction safety risks.
 

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.
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.