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.

Lead: the metal that just keeps giving

leadLead – a metal people have been using for thousands of years. I was introduced to industrial hygiene in graduate school with a project related to a fictitious “Vulcan lead foundry” as our professor assigned us to develop sampling plans to identify workplace lead exposures.  Similarly, likely every practicing industrial hygienist has spent some time sampling for lead – whether it be targeting a specific manufacturing process, during construction work involving lead paint, at shooting ranges, or even collecting water from drinking faucets.

And here in Oregon, we are continually reminded of the existence of this oldest of identified toxic metals as it still creates potential exposure risks to our communities: whether in our air, dust or water. While lead is not particularly difficult to measure and detect, it requires knowledge, discipline, and usually resources to effectively remediate its contamination. Here at our Institute’s Toxicology and OccHealth Information Center, we are always disappointed to learn about adverse exposures to substances that we have so many decades of experience that we could have – should have – learned from.

We’ve heard a lot about community exposures through our water and air, with particular concern in the vulnerability of children exposed to lead. Today’s industries with the highest potential workplace lead exposures include construction work, most smelter operations, radiator repair shops, and firing ranges, however there are many other opportunities for specialized exposures. Often, perhaps, our problems lie in either not using the appropriately trained technical staff to make decisions about lead, or not allocating appropriate funds to mitigate the problem. For after all, lead doesn’t really go anywhere on its own.

Need more information on lead? Here’s a good start:

Lead Exposure and Poisoning

Oregon OSHA Lead Resources

CDC and NIOSH Lead Publications

OccHealthSci Lead Topic

Diversity and inclusion meets safety and well-being

Fall 2016 Symposium speakers (left to right): Nichole Guilfoy, Ian Jaquiss, Dr. Eden King, Dr. Larry Martinez

Speakers (left to right): Nichole Guilfoy, Ian Jaquiss, Dr. Eden King, Dr. Larry Martinez

The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences hosted our Fall 2016 symposium earlier this month; the event was co-sponsored by Portland State University and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC). Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Impact on Worker Health and Well-Being was among our most popular symposia yet. Almost 130 attendees from industry, government and academia joined us for discussions facilitated by researchers and industry leaders on workplace diversity.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Eden King (George Mason University), presented a talk titled “Understanding and Reducing Bias at Work” which highlighted the science behind prejudice and addressed the importance of recognizing bias when battling discrimination in the workplace.

Dr. Larry Martinez’s (Portland State University) talk, “Beyond Race and Gender: The Unique Experiences of Under-Represented and Under-Researched Employees”, emphasized the significance of allies in the experiences of minority workers.

Nichole Guilfoy’s (SAIF Corporation) presentation, “Deconstructing the Language of Wellness,” stimulated small group discussions on diversity and its role in workplace wellness programs.

Ian Jaquiss (OHSU) gave a talked titled “Workplace Health and Safety for Employees with Disabilities” which underscored that diversity initiatives must also be inclusive of those with disabilities, both visible and hidden.

Finally, Dr. Charlotte Fritz facilitated a panel discussion, where attendees raised important questions with the speakers and shared experiences from their own workplaces.

The need for diversity and inclusion is pressing as we continue to make meaningful efforts toward worker health and well-being. In all, our symposium wouldn’t have been the success it was without the thoughtful and insightful contributions of our speakers and attendees. Visit our symposium website to access webinar recordings and presentation by mid-December.

Submitted by: Rachel Matsumoto, Senior Research Assistant


Dr. Eden King


Ian Jaquiss


Larry Martinez




Practicing diversity and inclusion

773681_10151308110654230_1545574424_oI met a new friend while grocery shopping the other day: she was on a knee scooter while I was newly “graduated” to one crutch. I struck up a conversation, sharing with her that there was hope in moving ahead. We all learn – whatever our personal trials – the power of sharing with those who may empathize with our challenges. We experience the emotional power of sharing every day in our lives: at work and at play.

This conversation in passing turned into a much longer conversation and a new friendship. My friend shared how she recently lost her job shortly after being disabled. She shared with me the unkind comments expressed to her from co-workers after suffering her injury. Surprisingly to me, she worked in health and fitness. And our new relationship spurred me to yet again recognize the timeliness of my personal disabling experience and that of current discussions related to our recent election, to this week’s symposium, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Impact on worker health and well-being.

This Friday’s attendance has reached our space capacity for live attendance, although you can still join us by live webinar – or look for the recording posted on our website a week or two following the event. Follow and join us on Twitter and use the hashtag #diversityandinclusion for live event sharing. We look forward to a day of learning, sharing and helping our organizations support all community members.

Oregon offering Train-the-Trainer events for the Revised Worker Protection Standard

k5197-3Starting January 2, 2017, agricultural workers and pesticide handlers that work on agricultural establishments must be trained annually about pesticide safety and the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Workers and handlers must be trained before they begin worker/handler tasks, EPA-approved training materials must be used, and trainers must be qualified.

Here is where the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, National Pesticide Information Center, OSU extension, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon OSHA and others play a role: many of us just returned from Yuma, AZ and Davis, CA after receiving training to become WPS Train-the-Trainer instructors. We will provide training to ensure that Oregon agricultural employers are able to comply with the new WPS rules.

Eight Train-the-Trainer events are planned in the coming months, at various locations around the state. Each full-day course is free-of-charge, and trainers will receive reference materials. Completing this course will also qualify the attendees to deliver Train-the-Trainer courses in the future.

Any certified applicator or agricultural employer is qualified to train workers, and EPA-approved training materials for workers are available online. Trainers without applicator certification/licensing must complete an EPA-approved “Train-the-Trainer” course in order to be qualified to train handlers. Although certified applicators are qualified to train handlers, they are encouraged in the new rule to complete an EPA-approved train-the-trainer course before the end of 2018.

Handlers” are mixers, loaders, applicators, flaggers, application helpers, early-entry workers, and anyone who disposes of pesticides or unrinsed containers, and/or anyone who works on application equipment that may contain pesticide residues.

Apply here to attend a Train-the-Trainer course led by OSU.

Read all about the newly revised Worker Protection Standard in the “How to Comply” manual.

For questions about compliance with the new regulation, contact Grant Jackson at 503-986-4553.

For questions about OSU Train-the-Trainer events, contact Cameron Hughes at 541-737-6123.

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