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Upcoming Construction Series Webinars

Join us for an unique series of free, educational webinars on construction work health topics, co-presented by The Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) and promotional partner BC Construction Safety Alliance. Learn from current research and credible tools to create safe, healthy, productive and inclusive workplaces for construction workers​. These webinars are relevant for people working in construction, their families, health professionals, labour representatives, and employers.​​

Many of our webinars qualify for professional education credit. Receive letters of attendance for small administrative fee of $15, or free for WWDPI members. If you missed a live webinar, but still need a certificate of attendance, our webinars on demand might be a right fit for you. We thank our program partners, education advisory committee, and speakers who contribute to this webinar series. The series is partially funded by the Province of BC through the Community Gaming Grants.​​​

Presentation Partners:
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Introducing Interventions into the Chaordic Construction Environment

Tuesday January 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET​

Part of the on-going Construction Series!​ ​​

Work in the construction industry is much different than in traditional workplaces as workers most often behave as independent operators, work at different locations where the conditions change on a daily basis, are employed on a contingent basis on specific projects, and self-determine how the work is to be done.  The industry itself has been described as “chaordic” a term which refers to organizational systems that blend chaos and order.  Implementing health and safety programs in construction is challenging as the solutions and learnings from research and practice in traditional workplaces are typically ineffective.  This webinar presents findings and experiences emanating from over 6 years of effort by CRE-MSD researchers to reduce MSDs in the construction sector in Ontario.  

You will learn:
  • How the unique characteristics of work in construction are similar to modern transitional workplaces in which work is increasingly project based and insecure
  • How a system of complex networks operates in the construction sector and how effective dissemination of information relies of these networks
  • How open and closed networks operate
  • How to share knowledge with non-literal learners
  • That experiential knowledge is important in improving work practices and can be a powerful force in influencing change
  • About potentially novel approaches of implementing change to impact the burden of MSDs and musculoskeletal pain in construction workers 

Take home message:
  • Approaches in health, safety, and ergonomics that are effective in fixed, traditional workplaces often do not work in the complex, dynamic construction environment
  • A recognition of the differences between small, medium and large companies is critical when designing implementation programs
  • An understanding of the power dynamics and social networks operating in the construction sector are essential in designing new programs and occupational health & safety interventions
  • Case studies of interventions with plumbers and with workers handling ladders show the importance of understanding networks
  • Interventions that reduce physical ergonomic risk factors, often through changes in process or tool design, may be effective when implemented with the consideration of local context and networks that are in place
  • Small interventions are easy to introduce and can have a significant impact 

​Philip Bigelow, PhD


Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo

Dr. Phil Bigelow is an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo and has a background in occupational epidemiology. He teaches epidemiology in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and provides research mentorship in the Collaborative PhD Program in Work and Health, an inter-departmental program within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
Dr. Bigelow holds an appointment at the Institute for Work and Health where he was a specialist in program evaluation and intervention studies prior to joining the University of Waterloo. He was a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health at Colorado State University for over 10 years where he conducted research in exposure assessment, occupational epidemiology, and construction health and safety. He held a NIOSH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in which he studied exposures and health effects in construction painters. He led a NIOSH research project that evaluated “HomeSafe” which is a novel, residential construction safety program involving a partnership of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver.  His current research interests include gaining an understanding of factors that improve the safety performance of firms and improve the implementation and uptake of health and safety interventions.  He also has a passion for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and is a Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of MSD (CRE-MSD) researcher.  ​


Nicolette Carlan​, PhD (Cand.)

Project Coordinator, University of Waterloo

Nicolette Carlan is a PhD candidate and Project Coordinator  at the University of Waterloo completing her dissertation on the path from science to workplace change. She holds an MES from York University and MA in Sociology from the University of Windsor. She has published with the research team and independently about the relationship between work organization, specifically lean production and occupational health. Previously she chaired the Ontario Occupational Disease Panel, was a vice-chair at the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal, and was the executive director of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers.


Co-Moderated By:

Catherine Brookman, PhD

Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders






Contrasting Prevalence of Health and Safety Risks and Controls between Residential and Commercial Construction

Tuesday February 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

Part of the on-going Construction Series!​ ​

Construction is one of the highest risk industries with high rates of worker fatalities and non-fatal injuries. Residential construction has unique challenges compared to commercial construction, and is typified by fewer safety resources, lower levels of work organization, and small, often scattered crews with less safety oversight. Apprentices who have the least amount of training and experience are often placed in the riskiest jobs. These differences in work organization between residential and commercial construction may result in differences in health outcomes and risk behaviors. The purpose of this project was to compare risks and supports for safety and health between residential and commercial apprentice construction workers.

You will learn

  • Which traditional health and safety risks and policies differ between apprentices in residential versus commercial construction work
  • How work organization and workforce factors differ by type of construction
  • How apprentices in residential perceive their health compared to apprentices in commercial work

Take-home message

Apprentice carpenters employed by residential contractors report significantly higher safety and health risks, fewer supports for health and safety, and poorer health outcomes than apprentices in commercial work.​


​​Ann Marie Dale, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine and Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis USA

Dr. Dale has over 30 years of experience in the clinical treatment of work-related upper extremity conditions and in worksite based prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. She has used a variety of intervention methods for individuals and groups of workers in many industries including healthcare, construction, retail grocery, automotive, manufacturing, and service industries, to prevent or reduce the effects of physical exposures from work tasks. Since joining the OSHR Group in 2001, she earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology with a focus on measurement and evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders. She is currently exploring safety and ergonomic interventions in the construction industry and participatory health interventions among retail grocery workers. Both projects focus on reducing physical exposures and improving the health of workers. Dr. Dale has a passion for helping workers maintain and regain function in order to lead successful and productive work lives.​

Co-Moderated By:

Catherine Brookman, PhD

Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders

​Safety and Health Among Older Construction Workers in the United States

Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

​More details and learning objectives coming soon.


Xiuwen Sue Dong​, PhD

Director, Center for Construction Research and Training​

Xiuwen Sue Dong is Data Center Director for the Center for Construction Research and Training located in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has conducted occupational safety and health research, focusing on the construction industry. She is the author of numerous publications, including articles related to back pain in the workplace. Currently, she serves as PI for three projects funded by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. She has a Doctoral degree in Public Health and a master’s degree in Economics.​


Co-Moderated By:

Catherine Brookman, PhD

Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders



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Recorded Webinars​​

Whole-Body Vibration Exposure in Construction: Examining Acute Effects, Guidelines, and Risk Mitigation Strategies ​To Prevent MSD and Injuries​

Tuesday November 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

​​Co-Moderated by Philip Bigelow, PhD​.  In construction, exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) is common in daily working life. Whole body vibrations, which are the shakes, bumps, and jolts that are transmitted from the vehicle to an occupant, can be problematic if the exposure is excessive. This webinar will: (1) examine the acute effects of WBV, (2) investigate whether established occupational guidelines protect the worker from injurious short-term effects, and (3) offer considerations to mitigate adverse WBV effects in construction work.

You will learn:
  • Possible acute sensorimotor, physical, and cognitive effects of whole body vibration identified from field and laboratory-based experiments
  • Whether current whole body vibration guidelines (specifically the EU Directive) protect the worker from acute WBV effects
  • Strategies to mitigate WBV effects including seating
  • The combined effects of whole body vibration when sequentially performed with physical and mental work demands ​
Take home messages:
  • There are physical and mental effects from short-term WBV exposure
  • Current whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure guidelines exist for long-term musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort; however, it has been speculated that short-term exposure to excessive WBV may lead to increased risk of vehicle accidents and falls during egress. Current guidelines might not protect workers from acute WBV effects.
  • WBV interventions should address both vibration reduction and potential effects of prolonged sitting. Work arrangement and scheduling strategies might offer a means to mitigate the effects of WBV and other work demands.​


Marcus Yung, PhD, CPE​

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA
 
Marcus Yung is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Division of General Medical Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine (St Louis, USA). His research interests centers around etiology of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and development of prevention strategies and interventions to mitigate injury risk. He has expertise in lab- and field-based human performance measurement and knowledge in exposure estimation using population-level data. He obtained degrees from Simon Fraser University and University of Waterloo.

​Bronson Du​, MSc

Research Project Coordinator, Center of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)

Bronson Du is a research project coordination at the Center of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD). He completed a MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, and a BSc in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. His master’s thesis topic was on the impacts of whole-body vibration exposure on truck drivers’ vigilance and discomfort. His current research focus is on helping inform standards to prevent and manage work disability in the paramedic sector. 


Co-Moderated By:

​Philip Bigelow, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo

Dr. Phil Bigelow is an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo and has a background in occupational epidemiology. He teaches epidemiology in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program and provides research mentorship in the Collaborative PhD Program in Work and Health, an inter-departmental program within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
Dr. Bigelow holds an appointment at the Institute for Work and Health where he was a specialist in program evaluation and intervention studies prior to joining the University of Waterloo. He was a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health at Colorado State University for over 10 years where he conducted research in exposure assessment, occupational epidemiology, and construction health and safety. He held a NIOSH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in which he studied exposures and health effects in construction painters. He led a NIOSH research project that evaluated “HomeSafe” which is a novel, residential construction safety program involving a partnership of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver.  His current research interests include gaining an understanding of factors that improve the safety performance of firms and improve the implementation and uptake of health and safety interventions.  He also has a passion for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and is a Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of MSD (CRE-MSD) researcher.  ​


A Total Worker Health® Intervention on Commercial Construction Sites

Tuesday September 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET

CPHRBCYK-accreditation-seal-web.png​​​https://www.wwdpi.org/PublishingImages/Work-Safety/shutterstock_45462577-small.jpg​​Construction workers suffer numerous work-related injuries as well as health conditions and behaviors.  The organizational structure and the job demands on these workers provide challenges to improve their total health.  We've been developing and testing Total Worker Health(R) approaches for over 10 years examining the various components of the commercial construction organizational structure.  Our current evaluation examine worksite based approaches. ​​
You will learn:
  • the various organizational components of the construction industry and their role in worker safety, health and wellbeing..
  • the nature of a workers experience of moving on and off sites.
  • Total Worker Health approaches for a worksite that aligh with current safety practices on worksites that demonstrated effective changes in worker behaviors.  ​

Take home messages:

  • Workers respond well to health messages that align with their jobs and safety structures.
  • Worksites are one of several points to improve construction workers total health.


​Jack Dennerlein, PhD

Professor, Northeastern University, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences​

Dr. Dennerlein is Professor in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University and Adjunct Professor of Ergonomic and Safety at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  He is also the Associate Director for the Chan School's Center for Work, Health, and Wellbeing. Dr. Dennerlein is an engineer whose research in public health takes a systems approach to understand and prevent work-related injuries and improve worker health and wellbeing. He holds degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley. ​ ​ https://bouve.northeastern.edu/directory/jack-dennerlein/ 


Co-Moderated By:

Catherine Brookman, PhD

Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders

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Organizational and Individual Intervention Methods that Improved Total Worker Health® in Construction Workers

Tuesday October 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET


CPHRBCYK-accreditation-seal-web.png​​​Part of the on-going Construction Series!​ ​​

​Construction workers in the United States are 3 to 5 times more likely to be injured or killed on the job compared to workers in other industries, and other countries report similar statistics.  BeSuper! is an integrated Total Worker Health® (TWH) intervention for construction supervisors and crews designed to improve safety, health and well-being.
 
You will learn:
  • Rationale for a Total Worker Health (TWH) intervention
  • Elements of a TWH intervention for construction
  • How to implement self-monitoring and team-based scripted training
  • Significant changes in the study of construction supervisors and crews
  • How to adapt an intervention for a different industry than the target​
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W. Kent Anger, Ph.D.​

Professor, Oregon Health & Science University
Director, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center,
A NIOSH Center of Excellence in Total Worker Health®
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Dr. Kent Anger has a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Maine and served in the Public Health Service as a Scientist Director (Neurobehavioral Toxicology research section) at NIOSH before joining Oregon Health & Science University as the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences’ Associate Director for Applied Research in 1989.  He has been continuously funded since shortly after joining the Institute and has over 90 peer reviewed publications in behavioral neurotoxicology and Total Worker Health® interventions.​


Co-Moderated By:

Catherine Brookman, PhD

Associate Director, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders





Conflict of Interest Statement

OHSU and Dr. Anger have a significant financial interest in Northwest Education Training and Assessment [or NwETA], a company that may have a commercial interest in the results of this research and technology. This potential individual and institutional conflict of interest has been reviewed and managed by OHSU. ​

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Last Modified: 12/4/2018 3:09 PM