OSHA’s Garnet Cooke wins TPSA award


Garnet Cooke with TPSA President Scott Birchfield – February 2017

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) has presented Garnet Cooke, Pesticide Coordinator, Oregon OSHA, with its award for program excellence during its annual conference in San Diego, California in February, 2017.

Garnet Cooke is one of the national leaders in educating regulators, pesticide users and others about the correct respirators to wear when mixing, loading or applying pesticides. Garnet has been the driving force in moving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise respirator statements on pesticide labels. This has included educating EPA on current respirator terminology and standards and working with other state agency organizations to raise awareness about the need to reduce risk through development of clear and consistent respirator labeling.

Cooke developed a respirator outreach document, “Respirators 101”, for the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), a cooperative agreement between EPA and the University of California Davis in cooperation with Oregon State University. The purpose of the document is to help people understand the respirator terminology so they can select the correct respiratory protection for pesticide applications. In addition, Cooke has conducted regular training on selecting the correct respirator for pesticide applications – for pesticide applicators, state regulators and federal regulators.

We at the Institute wish to congratulate Garnet on her years of commitment towards minimizing the risks among workers in Oregon who use pesticides or work in environments where pesticides are applied.


Oh GOSH! Time to register for Oregon GOSH

GOSH1 hallI’ve said it before, but the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference is one of my most favorite safety events to attend. This conference, the largest safety conference in the Pacific Northwest, is held every other spring in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, this year March 6-9, 2017. Without a doubt – it is the place to be if you are interested in workplace safety and health.

The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences is pleased to participate as a Gold Sponsor, as well as together with the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center join more than 120 vendors in the exhibit hall. We encourage you to stop by our booth (#533 & #535) and share current happenings in your workplace, as well as learn about our newest resources and upcoming events. Additionally, a number of our staff will be sharing technical presentations related to Total Worker Health (session #702), Oregon FACE (# 954), Age in the Workplace (#752), Industrial Hygiene in Construction (#812) and Northwest Occupational Health Research (#836).

Here are a few highlights:

  • The Conference Keynote: Thinking Differently About Safety (Dr. Todd Conklin).
  • 25 topic tracks (150 or so sessions) including these newer tracks: 1) Total Worker Health and Well-being; 2) Craft Brewing and Winemaking;  3) Emerging Industry: Cannibis; 4) Environmental and Social Justice; and, 5) Emerging EHS Professional.
  • The O[yes]-sponsored Student/Early Career Day on Tuesday, March 7.
  • WISE (Women in Safety Engineering) Networking Event Tuesday, March 7, 5:15 pm (RSVP required).
  • Columbia Forklift Challenge.

Now is the time to visit the Oregon GOSH website, check out the program, and register. We thank all of the volunteers who spend endless hours making this event into what it is, and all of the sponsors. It’s just a couple of weeks away! We look forward to seeing you there.


GOSH 2015



Oregon OSHA's Michael Wood trades notes with Dr. Kent Anger and Dr. Steven Shea. Oregon OSHA's Michael Wood trades notes with Kent Anger and Steven Shea.

GOSH 2015

Dr. Kelsey Parker awarded new grant

Kelsey_ParkerWe congratulate Dr. Kelsey Parker on the awarding of a small grant from the Professional Training Opportunities Program (PTOP) in Occupational Health and Safety. This program is sponsored by our regional NIOSH Education and Research Center at the University of Washington. We appreciate the collaboration with and support of the University of Washington ERC, the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Kelsey’s project is titled “The Impact of Caregiving on Worker Health: A Daily Diary Study of Personal Support Workers.” Dr. Ryan Olson and Jennifer Ragsdale (University of Tulsa) will be Kelsey’s co-mentors on this independent small project. Personal support workers (PSWs) play a critical role in society by helping children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities function independently and participate in their communities. These low-wage workers assist their clients by facilitating communication, helping with physical movements, providing support for daily living routines and assisting with participation in leisure and community activities, and managing challenging behaviors. These tasks can be physically dangerous (e.g. dealing with hitting, biting, etc.). and emotionally taxing (e.g. coping with lack of predictability). Injuries are prevalent, especially among PSWs caring for people with physical disabilities or with challenging behaviors.

Kelsey received her Ph.D. and her Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology  from the University of Tulsa. Prior to joining us in 2015 at the Institute she was a Bellwether Fellow at the University of Tulsa.  She is the Manager of the COMmunity of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) intervention for home care workers and the Tech4Rest program for team truck drivers’ sleep, health and performance. She is also a collaborator on the Safety and Health Intervention For Truck Drivers (SHIFT) project.

So again, congratulations, Dr. Parker! We look forward to following the results of this project.

Updated Letter of Agreement Signed by OR-OSHA and OR-FACE

Ryan Olson (Occupational Health Sciences), Curtis Cude (OPHD) and Michael Wood (OR-OSHA) sign the agreement.

Ryan Olson (Occupational Health Sciences), Curtis Cude (OPHD), and Michael Wood (OR-OSHA) sign the agreement.

OR-FACE, the Oregon Fatality and Control Evaluation Program, and Oregon OSHA recently updated their letter of agreement. The agreement facilitates a process for sharing information between the two organizations. This collaboration will help improve the quality and quantity of FACE fatality investigations and investigation reports. In addition, it will enhance the outreach efforts and educational materials produced and disseminated by both organizations aimed at preventing fatal workplace injuries. The updated agreement was signed January 19, 2017.

OR-FACE is a NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) sponsored program designed to prevent occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment, and outreach associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon. OR-FACE is a project of the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).  OR-FACE  is supported by a cooperative agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) through the Occupational Public Health Program (OPHP) of the Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority.

Visit the OR-FACE website to access publications including investigation reports, incident maps, toolbox talks.

Submitted by Barb Epstien, Fatality Investigator/Outreach Specialist



Inspirational talks about creating change – delivered on your smart phone!

We have some amazing speakers visit us at Occ Health Sci. However, only the select few who brave the OHSU parking scene get to see them! We also have great speakers at our symposia (access recorded webinars here), but want to keep experimenting with new ways to spread great ideas for making positive changes at work.

What if we video recorded compelling talks by scientific and business innovators in creating organizational and behavior changes? Well, we’ve done just that!

In partnership with the Organizational Behavior Management Network, Occ Health Sci is co-sponsoring a new speaker series titled Behavior Change Innovations. Our joint selection committee will invite notable scientists and business professionals to give video-recorded talks for the series. Each speaker will share their most powerful insights for creating changes to make our lives, organizations, and societies better.

The series is driven by one core question:

“what behavior and organizational change tactics have scientists and business innovators discovered that should be urgently applied?”

Please check out highlights from our first two invited speakers!

Anthony R. Pratkanis (watch video) is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he studies social influence and persuasion. His research has investigated such topics as the delayed effects of persuasion, groupthink, subliminal persuasion and a variety of influence tactics such as the pique technique, phantoms, the projection tactic, the 1-in-5 prize tactic, and altercasting. This research has been used to develop interventions for preventing fraud crimes, to counter international propaganda, and in numerous court cases. He is the co-author (with Elliot Aronson) of Age of Propaganda and (with Doug Shadel) of Weapons of Fraud. A fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science, he is also a member of Ring 216 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and of the Magic Garage.

AubreyAubrey Daniels, (watch video) a thought leader and internationally recognized expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues, is considered an authority on human behavior in the workplace. As founder and chairman of his consulting firm, Aubrey Daniels International (ADI), he and his staff help organizations employ the timeless principles of behavioral science to re-energize the workplace, optimize performance and achieve lasting results.
Among his many accomplishments include:
• Founding the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management
• Founding one of the first OBM consulting firms, Aubrey Daniels International, Inc. (founded as Aubrey Daniels & Associates, Inc., in 1978).

Stayed tuned to learn how to access these first recorded talks!

Submitted by Ryan Olson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Oregon Institute Of Occupational Health Sciences 

Thanks to Essential Workers everywhere

FullSizeRender[1]As this week’s storm brought in amounts of snow and deep cold that Portland hasn’t seen in decades, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge those who braved the snow, ice and cold to show up at work. Folks who helped keep us warm, cared for, and safe.

While some of us learned we were effectively “non-essential” employees and advised not to report for duty, in efforts to keep people out of cars and away from slippery streets and downed power lines, others did in fact brave the elements. Workers in patient care, emergency services, with utilities – and some with other jobs who needed to show up to continue to receive a pay check. We honor and thank all of you. And we acknowledge the long work shifts (32 hours anyone? More?) that employers required or requested of workers in efforts to restore power and cut tree limbs to keep the public warm and safe. Thank you to those who helped find care for our homeless in efforts to avoid more loss of life on our bitter streets.

While, yes, the snow is beautiful, we do recognize the challenge it presented to so many. All of us at the Institute thank those who did what was needed to keep the rest of us safe and warm. We hope you will soon get a long and well-deserved sleep.

What are your plans for Summer 2017?

2016 summer intern Group picture

2016 summer interns

Interested in an internship with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences?  Or do you know an undergraduate student who is?

Our application cycle for the summer of 2017 opens on January 15, 2017.  Check our application home page for downloadable instructions and access to our online application.

Our program aims to introduce Oregon college students to the multidisciplinary fields of biomedical and occupational health research.  Interns participate in the everyday research activities of their hiring labs.  Projects that the interns work on are aligned with their hiring faculty members research interests and often go on to be publishable.

We do have strict eligibility requirements.  Applicants must be an undergraduate student pursuing their first 4-year degree, either from a school in Oregon, or if attending an out-of-state school then they must be Oregon residents.  We do accept recent graduates, but if you have recently graduated then you must have graduated within the current academic year in order to still be eligible for our program.

Our interns work with their faculty members and labs for a period of three months during the summer.  Most interns start between mid-May and mid-June depending their institution’s academic calendar.  Interns are expected to work a standard 40-hour work week, so we don’t recommend doubling up with a summer course load.

Occ Health Sci Summer internship poster session overview 2016

2016 poster session

The high point of the internship is a scientific poster session held about the second week of August.  All Institute faculty and staff attend to view the interns showcase their summer work.  We welcome family and friends to attend as well.

Don’t delay in preparing your application: our March 1 deadline is going to come up fast!  More questions?  Check out our intern application home page for FAQs, instructions and program contact information.

Submitted by Alisa Mukai, Administrative Coordinator

Happy holidays!

Credit: OHSU digital commons

Credit: OHSU digital commons

From all of us at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.

Enjoy. Relax. Breathe.

Are you prepared?

fullsizerender While we are immersed in challenges related to snow and ice today, Institute faculty and staff prepared for another type of emergency earlier this week. We ensured that we are in fact prepared to respond to cardiac arrest by refreshing our ability to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

And while most of us have taken such a class before, we received a unique opportunity to learn from an instructor from the Portland Timbers Army CPR team. As we practiced our skills with CPR and using an AED (automated external defibrillator), we also learned that this Timbers Army CPR/AED team teaches a monthly free CPR class at Providence Park that is open to all. With schools and most public buildings now required to have AED’s onsite, it is important for all of us to feel comfortable – if put in the position – to take the lead on initiating a response that could save the life of a family member, friend, or a stranger. Research from the American Heart Association tells us that approximately 70% of all cardiac arrests happen at home. As we have all heard so many times, every moment counts. And some of us know this deeply and personally if we have lost someone we love to a cardiac incident.

We share a big thanks to our instructor, Dale Montgomery, and to the Timbers Army CPR Team! We also thank our Director, Steve Shea, for prioritizing this offering for our workforce. What about you – are you confident you could lend help in an emergency?




Weather fails to derail Salem WPS training session

Fred Berman, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences Toxicology Information Center Director, talks about pesticide safety.

Fred Berman, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences’ Toxicology Information Center Director, talks about pesticide safety.

Thursday, December 8th, will enter the record books as the first cold winter storm of 2016 for the Willamette Valley. But that didn’t stop our Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Train-the-Trainer team from traveling to Salem for its first ever training event. Our team was made possible by, and consists of personnel from, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon SAIF, Oregon OSHA, OHSU’s Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, and the National Pesticide Information Center housed at OSU. Thanks to SAIF, and especially to Kevin Pfau, for hosting this event and for providing lunch for attendees. Although several participants had to cancel due to the weather, we still had over 20 intrepid participants who completed the course and are now qualified to train agricultural workers and pesticide handlers on the new WPS standards. Our next training will take place next week in Eugene. Future WPS training sessions are scheduled to take place in Wilsonville, Hood River, Central Point, Klamath Falls, Ontario and Pendleton. Click here for more information about Oregon Train-the-Trainer events.

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