Thankful for those who contribute to a safer community

Saw Shop owners distribute OR-FACE safety manual

Nick, Debbie and John Phipps

Nick, Debbie and John Phipps

John and Debbie Phipps and their son Nick have owned State Street Saw Shop in Salem, Oregon, for nearly nine years. They have been distributing the OR-FACE manual, “Fallers Logging Safety” to their customers for many years. Debbie called recently for another supply. I took the opportunity to deliver the manuals and to ask them a few questions. I found out that whenever it seemed that a customer was a novice and needed help, they directed them to the manual. In addition, they also encouraged the use of personal protective equipment such as leather chaps and face shields. Preventing injuries is their primary motivation. We should all applaud the Phipps for caring about the well-being of customers. Company owners like the Phipps are key to a safer community.
If you want to view the manual or other OR-FACE resources, check out the OR-FACE website.




Role of the safety professional in a changing work environment

Laird Blanchard, Chapter President (3rd from left), presents gifts to speakers, Dede Montgomery (left), Illa Gilbert-Jones, and Mark Frisco (right).

Laird Blanchard, Chapter President (3rd from left), presents gifts to speakers, Dede Montgomery (left), Illa Gilbert-Jones, and Mark Frisco (right).

Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences staff Dede Montgomery and Illa Gilbert-Jones along with Mark Frisco, Regional Field Safety Specialist for True Blue, Inc one of the largest staffing agencies, presented at the ASSE Columbia-Willamette Chapter November meeting.

The presentation was a follow-up to our Spring symposium, “Temporary and Contingent Worker Safety and Health: Best Practices, Challenges and Solutions,” held on May 28, 2015. The ASSE presentation included emerging concepts such as worker well-being, total worker health, and duty-of-care. Key points in the presentation were:

  • Part-time, temporary and contract work is increasing which affects benefits and safety planning. A topic discussed widely nationally including those at OSHA and DOL.
  • The rise in the number of fatalities among this group and FACE data analysis on characteristics and causes of these worker fatalities.
  • Staffing agencies and host employers should jointly develop and agree to responsibilities for ensuring the safety of workers.

The presentation finished with a lively discussion among attendees on the role of the safety professional. If you want to access the recorded Spring symposium webinar click here.

OccHealthSci Topic: Temporary Workers

Mindfulness and TWH: Join us live

imageWe have a full room of almost 140 attendees at our fall symposium: Mindfulness and Total Worker Health.

Dr. Autumn Krauss has kicked it off helping us know that Mindfulness is Attention + Attitude.

Follow us as we live tweet by searching the hashtag: #mindfulwork.

Better yet: join us on our live webinar by going to and login in as “guest” but list a site location.

Join us!


Calling all high school students


imageDo you know high school students who are creative, like to make videos and want to make some cash? The 2016 O[yes] video contest is open, with video entries due February 1, 2016.

O[yes], the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition, sponsors this annual video contest seeking entries that will inspire teens to do at least one thing differently to stay safe on the job. The group looks for videos that will motivate other teens to think about the importance of speaking up for safety in the workplace, and awards $500 to the winning producer with a matching prize to the student’s school. Second and third cash prizes, also with matching school awards are also awarded.

As safety and health professionals and researchers, we know that it is equally important that employers appropriately train and communicate with all employees, particularly focusing on new and younger employees. We applaud those employers who support this contest, and share the winning videos through their safety training and meeting networks.

Visit the O[yes] video contest website to learn more about the contest and its requirements, the contest financial sponsors, and visit the O[yes] YouTube page to see winning videos from previous years.

OccHealthSci Topic: Young Workers

One stop shopping

imageThe best thing about exhibiting at events is interacting with our stakeholders. We learn a lot about organizations doing great things towards workplace safety, health, wellness and well-being.

And this week’s Oregon Workers’ Compensation Conference in Salem is no exception. Today I reconnected with the safety manager of Mountain Rose Herbs, a supplier of traditional medicine herbs and spices with 200 employees based in Eugene.

Rick Pasley is responsible for safety and wellness at Mountain Herb. He believes that sometimes it’s easier to address Total Worker Health when there are fewer layers or players involved, such is often the case within a smaller company. Rick believes that the more people care about their body, the more they will care about safety, and be more present and mindful in their surroundings.

Every Wednesday Rick shares wellness-related information with his staff; often tying it to safety. Rick also recognizes communication and conflict resolution strategies and trainings to be an important part of safety and wellness.

We recognize Rick as a passionate leader working to address Total Worker Health in his organization. What are you doing to help your organization address safety, health, wellness and well-being?

OccHealthSci topic: Total Worker Health® & Well-being



What do you know about diet and chronic disease?

NW Health imageWe are pleased to be a supporter of the upcoming Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference: Exploring the science behind plant-based nutrition. This full day conference will be held on Friday, November 13, 2015 at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center.

The Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference is an opportunity to find out the latest information on plant-based diets with respect to clinical nutrition, the effects of diet on chronic disease prevention and control, and on designing an optimum plant-based diet. The conference offers professional credit for many medical professions, including dietitians, but also offers important information with others with strong interests in health and diet. We look forward to hearing the presenters who include:

  • Michael Klaper, MD: Putting Nutrition to Work in Autoimmune Disease: Plates over Pills
  • Paulette Chandler, MD, MPH: Nutrition and Cancer: Fight Cancer the Whole Foods Way
  • Neil Nedley, MD: Nutrition, Depression, and Mental Performance
  • Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD: Plant-based and Powerful: What We Know About Vegan Athletes
  • Carol DeFrancesco, MALS, RDN, LD: Motivational Interviewing: Conversations that Lead to Change

Visit the website today to learn more and register. See you there!

Resources: Total Worker Health® & Well-being: Best Practices (Diet, Exercise & Sleep)


Occ Health Sci tackles outreach

Basic and applied scientists, information specialists, research staff and practitioners focused today on ways to grow and improve outreach at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. Pictured is Institute Director Dr. Steve Shea describing the Institute research programs. And Dede Montgomery (pictured left) talked about ways to engage with our stakeholders through outreach channels (like all the Oregon OSHA conferences attended by Dede Montgomery, Fred Berman, Anjali Rameshbabu and others).

Director Steve Shea speaks to  outreach meetingOcc Health Sci is reimagining its website to make it more informative and useful to all our many audiences.  Please browse our website and send us suggestions (and see the blog below asking for input on our information directory that is read by 70,000 people per year).  If you’re interested in our Institute and its important mission to promote health and prevent disease and disability among working Oregonians and their families, look at our website and tell us how to improve it.

We value your ideas and suggestions.  Here are some things we heard about our website in our meeting:

  • Add a scrolling news feed on the home page
  • Too many words (ouch, that hurt)
  • Link the faculty pictures with their research topics
  • Improve the search capability (like for archived presentations) by using keywords or suggested search topics
  • More testimonials – what do people think about us (maybe you could send us a testimonial)

Surely you, dear reader, have some more ideas to add Help us help you

imageConsider how the internet has changed in the past twenty years! When we – then CROET – first established our online library twenty years ago we were about the only game in town. We were online even before Google.

We continually challenge ourselves to figure out how we can make this resource best for you: our followers and stakeholders. As we’ve reached out to some of you, we have learned: you still find it valuable, you like the “A-Z” subject index – and you’d like it to be even easier to find what you are looking for. Thanks for helping imageus. And its not too late to send us feedback as we work to redesign and improve this site.

If you are less familiar with, here’s a few tips:

Check it out – let us know what you think!

Talking about OHSU lab safety

jeff and lab fair

Preparing to practice spill response.

We offer our thanks to OHSU’s Environmental Health and Radiation Safety team for sponsoring last week’s Lab Safety Fair. The event, which took place inside Richard Jones Hall, was a terrific success – and those of us from our Institute appreciate all who gave their time to plan the event and share their knowledge. Thanks also to all of the exhibitors and to Portland Fire and Rescue for bringing their Hazmat truck!

fireman rodger

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?

Olga and Dede

Talking about Total Worker Health.

saif at lab fair

Thanks to SAIF to remind us about pedestrian safety.


That Hazmat truck is pretty cool!




Emergency preparedness reminders.

Emergency preparedness reminders.

You won’t believe the summer I’ve had!

Lindsay in the forest.

Lindsey in the forest.

I am climbing through trees and over snags, nowhere near a clear hiking trail, trying to keep up with a forester who knows the route like the back of their hand. I’ve almost reached them when – OOF! My foot falls straight through a dead log and I’m up to my thigh in bugs and mulch. It’s just another day on the job for both of us, except tomorrow I’ll trade my hiking boots for dress flats to be stationed in a call center, observing employee postures and workstation use. My name is Lindsey Alley, and I’m the Senior Research Assistant for the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC).

Part of our work here at the OHWC is to conduct “needs assessments” or preliminary investigations, to get a real sense of what is going on in organizations we hope to work with in the future. My role, specifically, is to plan, coordinate, and conduct these micro-studies in consultation with our Principal Investigators (PIs). Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we aim to paint a comprehensive picture of the supports, barriers, resources, and relationships present within each distinct occupational context; so that we can best determine how to intervene in the most impactful, beneficial way possible. While our PIs are primarily focused on one, maybe two, of these work settings, I have the unique and exciting challenge of becoming an expert in all of them simultaneously.

So, as you can imagine, the past six months have been quite an adventure! I have trudged through streams and forged mountains, trailing workers in the forest industry. I have participated in nurses’ Safe Patient Handling classes and conducted in-depth observations and interviews with healthcare staff throughout Oregon. I have administered surveys across call center employees and conducted full ergonomic assessments of their workspaces. And, I have developed a wealth of new and delightful relationships with workers and administrators in each setting. I have never met so many truly wonderful people.

One of the most encouraging aspects of my experience throughout all of this has been to witness the level of overwhelming support granted to us by the top-tier administrators in these organizations. Despite the wide variation in the types of work performed and workers employed across these diverse fields, the message has remained the same: “Employee health and well-being are our absolute top priorities. We care about these people and want to do what is best for everyone.” Truly inspirational.

It has been a joy to perform work with such broad potential for positive impact. Not everyone gets to be a nurse, a forester, a housekeeper, an office worker, a researcher, a writer, and a data analyst in the same summer; and perhaps not everyone would want to. Maybe I’m just a masochist, but golly it’s been fun!

Lindsey Alley with OHWC Principal Investigator's Donald Truxillo and Ryan Olson.

Lindsey with OHWC Principal Investigators Donald Truxillo and Ryan Olson.

If you are interested in having us visit your worksite and learn more about the unique challenges and needs of your organization, contact the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center at (503) 494-3492, or visit us on the web.

* Thank you to Layla Mansfield and Allison Schue, who have been my right and left hands in performing this work. You are both amazing!

Submitted by: Lindsey Alley, Senior Research Assistant, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center & Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

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