What’s work got to do with it?


So many of us have been thinking about, researching and discussing the relationship between work, home and life.  Now is the perfect opportunity to learn more –  just by connecting through a free webcast!

This Wednesday and Thursday, December 9-10, the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are hosting the Pathways to Prevention-Total Worker Health® What’s Work Got to Do With it? workshop in Bethesda, Maryland.

We’re fast learning that work influences our personal health, safety and wellbeing, and vice versa. Risky and precarious work, unhealthy work patterns, and lack of organizational support can affect our safety and health at work and at home, which in turn, influences our ability to work. It makes sense to us that this integrated approach to prevention – Total Worker Health – can move the needle to improve overall worker well-being, with positive spillover to our workplaces, homes and communities.

The 1½-day workshop will bring together scientists and health/safety experts to help answer questions about integrated interventions—what do we know about them? What are the pros and cons of this approach? How do we know they work? “Show me the evidence!”, you say, as you should! Ask and you shall learn.

Check out the agenda  – and don’t forget the time difference if you are with us in the west. Among the workshop’s notable speakers are Dr. Kent Anger and Dr. Leslie Hammer, our friends (oh and Directors) at the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.

While many have made plans to travel to the NIH to attend in person, make sure to pre-register to take part in the webcast. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about what work’s got to do with it!

Oregon Healthy Workforce Center
Total Worker Health®
OccHealthSci topic page: Total Worker Health® and Wellbeing


Occupational Health Sciences Reports to MLAC

The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences provides reports to Oregon’s Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC) due to it’s base funding from the Workers’ Compensation System. Dr. Steven Shea is pictured describing the Institute’s vertically integrated research concept with an illustration of sleep and circadian rhythms.  Molecular and cellular researchers interact with scientists conducting animal and human laboratory research.  This informs applied intervention research in the Oregon workplace and that leads to safer and healthier workers that is in turn described through our outreach.  This is depicted on the Occ Health Sci Institute website.Occupational Health Sciences reports to MLACDr. Kent Anger (to Dr. Shea’s left in the picture) described the safety, health and well-being improvements due to interventions carried out by the Oregon Health Workforce Center (OHWC), a NIOSH Center of Excellence in Total Worker Health sited at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) at Occupational Health Sciences, but it is an affiliation of OHSU, Portland State University, University of Oregon’s Labor Education Research Center (LERC) and the Kaiser Center for Health Research. The OHWC is applying to renew the Center for 5 more years and Center Director Dr. Anger was asking MLAC for a letter of support for that application which will focus its intervention research on health care, call centers and transportation.

Dr. Leslie Hammer (to Dr. Shea’s right in the picture), the Institute’s newest faculty member, concluded the presentations by describing her research interests in the health effects of supportive supervision at work, and the health consequences of work-family conflict.  She remains 1/4 time at Portland State University where she continues the Occupational Health Psychology training program as she builds her research program at OHSU.

Presentations at MLAC provide ideas and feedback from a wide range of Oregon stakeholders that is highly valued by the Institute.  The annual report was distributed during the meeting.

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 ohsu.adobeconnect.com/occhealthsci 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!

OccHealthSci.org 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

OccHealthSci.org: 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 OccHealthSci.org, here’s a few tips:

Check it out – let us know what you think!

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