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Ryan Olson, PhD

Scientist, Oregon Institute Of Occupational Health Sciences
Assistant Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Adjunct faculty, PSU Occupational Health Psychology Program
Admin Unit: Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Phone: (503) 494-2501
Mail Code: L606
Public Health and Preventative Medicine
Research Interests:
occupational safety, occupational health, injury prevention, health promotion, trucking, aviation, transit, lone workers, occupational health psychology, applied behavior analysis » Click here for more about Dr. Olson's research
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Olson has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Olson has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Media Inquiries: To request an interview with Dr. Olson, please write or call OHSU media relations at or 503-494-8231


Dr. Olson's research is focused on safety and health interventions for lone workers, and
on behavioral self-management methods. The overreaching goal of this research is to
understand how organizations can best protect and promote health among workers who
are physically isolated from peers. Dr. Olson has extensive experience conducting injury
prevention and health promotion research in transportation industries (aviation, bus,
trucking), but also has current projects in home health care and long-term care industries.

Go to Dr. Olson's Lab page→

See Dr. Olson's CV→

SHIFT (Safety & Health Involvement For Truckers)

SHIFT is a weight loss and health promotion intervention for truck drivers. The intervention is a weight loss competition that is supported with computer-based training, weekly weight and behavior logging, and motivational interviewing.  Olson and his collaborators are currently conducting a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of the SHIFT program with funding from the NHLBI (R01HL105495).

COMPASS (Community of Practice and Safety Support) Teams for Home Care Workers

COMPASS is a Total Worker Health Intervention that is being developed and studied as part of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center funded by NIOSH.  COMPASS uses a peer-led curriculum to organize home care workers into neighborhood-based teams that provide education and social support for improving lifestyle (e.g., diet, exercise) and safety behaviors.  For more detail visit the COMPASS project description at the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center website.

OR-FACE (Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation)

The Oregon Occupational Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) Program is a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sponsored program designed to prevent occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment, and outreach associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon.

Work, Family, and Health Network iPod/iPhone Application

The Work, Family, and Health Network, funded by NICHD and NIOSH is evaluating an intervention to reduce work-family conflict and improve employee health in long-term care and instructional technology industries.  Drs. Olson and Wipfli designed the weSupport iPod/iPhone application used by supervisors at intervention worksites (programmed by  Openmetrics).  Click on the weSupport iPod/iPhone Application Demonstration to see the basic features of the software. 


Dr. Olson earned his bachelors degree in Psychology at Utah State University and advanced degrees in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University. Dr. Olson was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University prior to joining the CROET/OHSU faculty in July of 2005.   Dr. Olson is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and a charter member of the Society of Occupational Health Psychology.


WeSupport iPod/iPhone Application Demonstration


PSU Occupational Health Psychology Program

Olson Lab: Occupational Health Psychology Lab



Recent Occupational Safety & Health Publications

Olson, R., Wipfli, B., Wright, R. R., Garrigues, L., Nguyen, T., Lopez de Castro, B. (2014). Reliability and validity of the home care STAT(Safety Tast Assessment Tool). Applied Ergonomics, 45 (4), 1157-1166.

Wipfli, B., Olson, R., Wright, R. R., Garrigues, L., Lees, J. (June/July 2012).  Characterizing hazards and injuries among home care workers.  Home Healthcare Nurse, 30 (7), 387-393.
Olson, R., Wipfli, B., & Garcia, L. R. (April, 2012).  Ergonomics: Practical guidance for assessing truck drivers.  Professional Safety, 38-43.
Landsburgis, P., Schnall, P., Nicholas, W., Stellman, J., Sinclair, R., Hammer, L.,  & Olson, R.  (2011).  Occupational Health Psychology, in D. H. Anna (Ed), The occupational environment: Its evaluation, control, and management (3rd ed.).  Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Olson, R., Schmidt, S., Winkler, C., & Wipfli, B. (2011).  The effects of target behavior choice and self-management skills training on compliance with behavioral self-monitoring.  American Journal of Health Promotion, 25 (5), 319-324.
Olson, R. (2010).  Motivational traps.  The Behavior Analyst Today, 11 (2), 117-127.
Olson, R., Anger, K., Elliot, D. L., Wipfli, B., & Gray, M. (2009). A new health promotion model for lone workers: Results of the SHIFT pilot study (Safety & Health Involvement for Truckers). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(11), 1233-1246.