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Issue 39, January 2015

The Year at CPWR:
Looking Back and Looking Forward

The New Year is a time to reflect on what we've accomplished and to look forward to what's ahead. At CPWR that's especially true this year, because this year many of our major research initiatives are reaching their conclusion -- and many new ones are beginning.


2014 saw the release of many long-anticipated findings and new products. For instance...


Our CPWR/NIOSH Engineering Controls Work Group published Model Silica Specifications for Masonry Grinding, Cutting and Sawing. This resource can help regulators, project managers, building owners and others seeking to reduce dust generated from construction activities.


CPWR researchers examining data from thousands of medical screenings conducted under the Building Trades Medical Screening program (BTMed, a long-running CPWR program benefiting construction workers formerly employed on federal nuclear sites) released important new findings on mortality and COPD risks among career sheet metal workers.


CPWR consortium researchers in Colorado demonstrated that supervisors who "walk the walk," showing that safety is their priority, can become role models and help transform everyone's attitude toward safety on the job.


Following a 2013 conference that brought together scholars, construction contractors, labor leaders, and government regulators to explore Safety Culture and Safety Climate in our industry, we produced first a pathbreaking report (Safety Culture and Climate in Construction) and then an innovative and popular workbook (Strengthening Jobsite Safety Climate) enabling builders to evaluate, score, and enhance safety climate at their own firms.


This year will see the beginning of several new research projects... 


CPWR has launched a major effort to explore how nanotechnology is transforming our industry, and what implications this holds for worker safety.  


Consortium members in California are bringing their expertise in rock and concrete drilling to a new test bench that will evaluate commercially available concrete drills, reporting on factors like noise and vibration.  


Researchers will evaluate how contractor and subcontractor prequalification based on leading safety indicators can improve safety performance.


These are just a few of the many exciting efforts moving forward in 2015. Stay tuned - and thanks for all YOU do to keep our industry's workers safe on the job!


Pete Stafford

Executive Director    


Recently Published Journal Articles by CPWR Scholars


Risks of a lifetime in construction, part II: Traumatic injuries

Knut Ringen, John Dement, Laura Welch, Xiuwen Sue Dong, Eula Bingham and Patricia Quinn. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, November 2014.


Comparison of musculoskeletal disorder health claims between construction floor layers and a general working population. Ann Marie Dale, Daniel Ryan, Laura Welch, Margaret Olsen, Bryan Buchholz, and Bradley Evanoff. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, September 2014.   


Risks of a lifetime in construction, part I: Traumatic injuries

Xiuwen Sue Dong, Knut Ringen, Laura Welch, and John Dement American Journal of Industrial Medicine, September 2014.






CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the 9 million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry! 

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