Safety Interventions in Construction Workers Share This OHSU Content

SHIPTeam-based WorkLife and Safety Intervention for Construction Workers
Leslie Hammer, PhD (PI)

The main goal of the Safety & Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to test the effectiveness of an integrated intervention that includes supervisor training and team effectiveness training designed to increase work-life support and support for improving safety among a sample consisting primarily of construction workers in the City of Portland. These workers comprise a work sector and demographic group that the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA Construction Sector Council, 2008) has targeted as understudied. Using a randomized experimental design, a total of 50 supervisors and their approximately 650 team members will be randomly assigned to the intervention and control conditions. We will specifically examine the effects of the intervention on worker health, well-being, and safety outcomes at baseline, 6 and 12-months post-intervention.

Our integrated intervention includes both health protection and health promotion components and targets the entire work team, that is, both supervisors and workgroup team members. It draws on preliminary research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of a family supportive supervisor training program to improve worker health using the cTRAIN methodology developed by Anger and colleagues (Hammer et al., 2011) and integrates methods used in the only published safety intervention that has focused on improving safety climate by improving communication skills between supervisors and team members around safety issues (Zohar & Luria, 2003). Furthermore, this intervention modifies an existing team intervention, the Team Effective Process (TEP) that focuses on ways that teams can eliminate low value work and focus on essential tasks, leaving more energy to focus on safety and positive work-family management behaviors. To enhance the transfer of supervisor training, supervisors will track supervisor family-supportive behaviors and safety-related communication behaviors using an established method of behavior tracking (Olson et al., 2009). We will test the hypothesis that our integrated intervention that targets psychosocial stressors leading to increased social support and decreased job strain, will impact psychological and physical worker health outcomes.



  • This project is expected to impact worker health and well-being, and has the potential of leading to an important workplace intervention that integrates health protection and health promotion, and can be translated and disseminated to other occupations and workplaces.
  • The focus on construction workers targets an important and large industry sector that has demonstrated safety hazards, and it is the hope that the intervention will help to improve safety and health outcomes for these workers.