The four NIOSH-funded Total Worker Health (TWH) Centers presented a symposium Monday at the American Public Health Association meeting, in Boston (pictured below).
The Centers described part of their research programs. The following results were of particular interest:
- Research showed that worker participation in a TWH process resulted in increased program sustainability, presented by Glorian Sorensen of the Harvard TWH Center
- Studies indicated that worker participation was necessary for effective integration of TWH, presented by Laura Punnett of the University of Massachusetts of Lowell of the CPH-NEW (New England) TWH Center
- A survey of over 6000 businesses in Iowa showing that small businesses reported a striking lack of Occupational Safety and Health programs among smaller employers, reported by Jim Merchant of the Iowa TWH Center
- A comprehensive literature review revealed only 15 published reports of research studies of TWH intervention programs, although 14 of the 15 improved between 1 and 19 organizational or behavioral risk factors for accidents or chronic health diseases indicating broad effectiveness of the programs, reported by Kent Anger of the Oregon TWH Center
Click to learn more about TWH and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.
The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences (formerly CROET) faculty held a Science Retreat on Wednesday, October 30, to discuss their mission and research themes, and to learn from the OHSU Foundation about ways that the Institute can gain philanthropic support.
Led by Director Steve Shea, PhD, the Retreat began with a discussion about why we are committing our careers to occupational health and safety. Why do we do what we do. Faculty conducting basic mechanistic research, clinical research, applied research and education and outreach all had different reasons, but basically they are about improving health and safety of Oregon workers, and those beyond Oregon.
The research themes revolve around (a) changing organizations and individual behavior in the workplace; (b) exposures: consequences and prevention); (c) injury, treatment, recovery and prevention; (d) sleep and circadian rhythms; (e) strategies and solutions for vulnerable workers. Each theme is focused on prevention and/or recovery. Faculty are studying mechanisms through basic research, simulations in the laboratory, interventions in the workplace. Many of the themes are being studied through integrated programs from basic mechanistic work at the molecular and cellular level, in animal subjects, and in clinical and human research. This is translated to education and outreach that is designed to disseminate information and support it’s use in the Oregon workplace, and to bring back information on needs in the workplace to inform the research. Much of the faculty’s research can be generalized to the world at large.
Details can be found on the Institute’s (formerly CROET) website:
ProtectEar in the exhibit hall in Medford.
Fall is always a busy time for CROET outreach staff as we connect with so many of you in events around Oregon. And what great conferences and educational events we have attended this year!
Kudos to Oregon OSHA, Central Oregon Safety and Health Association, Southern Oregon Chapter of ASSE, Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and all of the companies and organizations that support these events. Still ahead we look forward to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the Western Pulp, Paper and Forest Products Safety and Health Conference.
Many of you learned a bit more about our transition to our new name, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, our current research including that with the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, new Oregon FACE resources and more! Stay in the loop between conferences by following this blog, signing up for our monthly e-newsletter, and following us on Twitter and Facebook. And visit our calendar to see where we are and what we are up to. Thanks for your support!
Michael Wood welcomes attendees in Redmond.
2013 Distinguished Industrial Hygienist, Kermit McCarthy, in Seaside.
The key to Oregon OSHA’s Conference successes.
Dede Montgomery talks about sleep in Medford.
Oregon OSHA’s terrific conference team.
Joe Hurrell and Kent Anger.
You may recall seeing Safety: the Musical - last year’s 1st place winning video produced by students from Salem Academy. The contest is designed to increase awareness about safety on the job for young people. Students must create a 90-second or less video with the overall theme of Speak up. Work safe.
The contest is organized by the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]). CROET (soon to be the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences) is joined by other contest sponsors including Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Liberty Mutual, Hoffman Construction, Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, the Labor Education and Research Center, SHARP Alliance, Oregon Health Authority, Daily Journal of Commerce, and SafeBuild Alliance. We are pleased to collaborate with organizations across Oregon as we recognize the importance of educating and engaging young people in conversations about workplace safety.
O[yes] seeks other organizations and individuals who would like to participate in O[yes] initiatives. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.
And spread the word about this contest to high school students – public, private or home-schooled. Oh, and don’t forget to mention the winning prizes – cash awards from $300 to $500 for the student producers with matching funds to their school. The deadline for submissions is February 3, 2014.
Press Release about Contest
2013 Winning Videos
CROETweb Topic: Young Workers
10:17 AM in Medford.
What were you doing at 10:17 this morning? The classes at this year’s Southern Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Conference, held in Medford, participated in Shake Down Oregon. No doubt, some attendees wondered what was going on – but all pretty clearly followed the lead of their instructor.
Every bit of planning we can do – work, home, and community – is important as we try to prepare for the big one. Today’s exercise came on the tail of a great session provided at the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s Northwest Occupational Health Conference in Seaside. We appreciate our guest speakers from the American Red Cross and the State of Oregon in helping us better understand the details of preparing for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Has your safety committee discussed your workplace plans? Does your family have provisions and plans in place? It is clear – the time really is now.
Great Shake Out
American Red Cross – Earthquake Planning
CROETweb Topic Emergency Planning in the Workplace
Dr. Joe Hurrell, Editor of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, keynoted the final day of the Northwest Occupational Health Conference (NOHC) in Seaside, Oregon, on October 11 (pictured below). Dr. Hurrell’s talk, the topic of the day, was on Job Stress: Causes, Consequences and Interventions. He reviewed the scientific surveys revealing that one third of all workers report high levels of job stress and that work is the primary source of stress among employed men (women were a little lower than this).
Key points from his presentation are listed below.
The primary costs of stress to organizations:
- Workers Compensation costs
Key job stressors are:
- Job demands
- Organizational demands
- Interpersonal relationships
Individual signs of stress:
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Job dissatisfaction
Interventions to reduce stress do the following:
- Reduce or eliminate stressors (increased control over work, participation in decisions)
- Modify the person’s response to stress (coping mechanisms)
Job stress is one of the key areas of well-being being addressed by research in the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC).
See CROETweb for ways to combat job stress.
Getting sick with the flu is a pretty good example of the relevance of Total Worker Health™. In the end, it doesn’t matter much if you pick it up at work – from a patient or co-worker – on the bus, or at your child’s daycare – you still get sick. You still feel lousy, miss work (or choose to infect others around you and work ineffectively) and miss personal events.
Getting good sleep, exercising, eating well, and reducing unhealthy life stress helps us strengthen our immune system to keep us healthy. This month at OHSU, and led by our Healthy Team Healthy U Program, it is Influenza Prevention Month. If you walk the corridors of OHSU buildings, you might just see the poster with tips for preventing the flu. Without a doubt, getting a flu vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent infection. Does your employer educate your workforce about the flu vaccine, offer it onsite and offer incentives to receive the vaccination? Have you gotten yours yet?
Looking for more information? Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Oregon Health Authority Public Health to learn more.
CROETweb Emergency Infections & Flu Topic Page
The first annual meeting of the leaders of all the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) extramural Centers occurred in Denver on October 3-4, at the University of Colorado. This included the Directors and Associate Directors of the three types of Centers:
- 17 Education and Research Centers (one at the University of Washington in Seattle)
- 9 Agricultural Safety and Health Centers (one at the University of Washington in Seattle)
- 4 Total Worker Health Centers (one at Oregon Health & Science University, with collaborators from Portland State University, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University)
The Center Directors and Associate Directors held the meeting, but the NIOSH Director and program leadership did not attend due to the US government shutdown.
NIOSH University Research and Training Centers meeting in Denver (2013)
These Centers represent over 50% of the total NIOSH budget for extramural grants (mostly to Universities). The group discussed questions about how Centers might develop cross-cutting themes such as Total Worker Health and new ways to combine together to serve the entire country. The Total Worker Health Centers also met separately on October 4. They are working on resources and toolkits to develop TWH programs. NIOSH is working on a bibliography of all TWH publications that it plans to publish on it’s website by the end of 2013. Learn more about NIOSH programs here:
Learn more about the NIOSH TWH program at:
OR-FACE Incident Maps
One death on the job is always too many. As we share new resources created by the Oregon Occupational Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) Program, we are ever mindful of the somberness of this topic.
Since 2003, OR-FACE has tracked over 600 work-related deaths in the state of Oregon and has now published all confirmed Oregon occupational fatalities as interactive maps. These fatality maps can be filtered by year and are coded by events, occupation, and industry. The most current cases, 2011 to present, can be filtered further by both event and year. The maps with all available years selected reveal transportation as the top industry, occupation, and event to fatally injure working Oregonians. For more information about specific fatalities represented in the maps, you can explore the OR-FACE website and even download descriptive abstracts for all cases.
OR-FACE has also just published its Annual Report for 2011. In 2011, OR FACE recorded 59 fatal occupational fatalities and as many incidents. Overall, the number of fatalities went up compared to the 51 fatalities in 2010. Though transportation remains the most common event and occupation for Oregon workplace fatalities, logging and forestry was the most fatal industry with 10 total fatalities.
To receive new investigative reports and other Oregon FACE publications, join our electronic mailing list. Visit our website for all previously released publications and investigative reports.
Oregon FACE website
CROETweb Topic: Occupational Safety & Health Statistics
NIOSH FACE Program
The 6th annual Western States Occupational Network (WestON) is being held in Golden, Colorado. Total Worker Health (TWH) was the topic of a session that featured three interesting presentations, described below along with links to valuable resources.
- Brenda Schmidt and Eric Dinenberg of Viridian Health Management described CDC’s National Healthy Worksite project that they are leading. The project is described and toolkits are available at CDC’s National Healthy Worksite website. Click to learn more about Viridian.
- Chia Chia Chang of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) described the NIOSH TWH program.
- Lili Tenney from the Center for Worker Health & Environment in the Colorado School of Public Health (U Colorado) described their Health Links program for small businesses. Colorado businesses can complete a needs assessment, earn a Healthy Business Certification, find resources, and connect with businesses in the network. Click HealthLinksColorado to learn about this innovative state program.
Click to learn more information about WestON. The opening session is pictured below. The conference concludes today.