Ryan Olson Lab


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.

Current Research Projects

Safety and Health Involvement For Truck drivers (SHIFT)

The Safety and Health Involvement For Truck drivers (SHIFT) program was a weight and health promotion program tailored for commercial truck drivers. Over 450 drivers from 5 companies participated in the SHIFT program which produced medically meaningful and statistically significant weight loss. The difference between treatment and control groups in average weight change was –1.0 units of Body Mass Index (-7.3 lbs). SHIFT is currently being adapted for bus operators and will focus on the long-term prevention of weight-related health conditions while also fostering well-being, job satisfaction, and overall work performance for new employees. 

Click here to read more about SHIFT (Safety & Health Involvement For Truckers)

Click here to read more about the SHIFT Onboard project for new bus operators


The Tech4Rest project is a randomized controlled trial designed for team trucker drivers. The study aims to reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and increase well-being for team drivers who have an inherently challenging sleep environment (sleeping in a moving truck). The study will assess the effectiveness of an enhanced cab intervention that utilizes a therapeutic mattress and an active suspension driving seat to alter whole body vibrations. This enhanced cab intervention will be studied on its own as well as in combination with a behavioral sleep intervention. Tech4Rest project is currently in the pilot phase. 

Click here to learn more about Tech4Rest study for Team Truck Drivers

Community of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) 

The Community of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) program is a peer-led social support group intervention designed to improve social resources, reduce the risk of injuries and promote health among caregivers. Over 140 home care workers participated in the COMPASS randomized controlled trial, which found that COMPASS made a significant positive impact on home care workers' perceived community of practice, use of ergonomic tools, safety communications and hazard correction, and healthy eating. The COMPASS project is being disseminated in Oregon in partnership with the Oregon Home Care Commission. COMPASS is currently being adapted for Personal Support Workers.

Click here to learn more about COMPASS (Community of Practice and Safety Support) Teams for Home Care Workers


The OR-FACE program is designed to prevent occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment, and outreach associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon. 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. OR-FACE is currently conducting three field studies focused on the development and dissemination of prevention strategies in high risk industries.

Click here to read more about OR-FACE (Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation)

Lab Members

Olson Lab Group, December 2016
 Ryan Olson Lab (L to R): Layla Mansfield, Jason Malach-Fuller,
Kelsey Parker, Barb Epstien, Ryan Olson (Dec. 2016)

Kelsey Parker - Research Associate

Kelsey Parker
Dr. Parker earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, OK in May 2015. She joined the Institute for Occupational Health Sciences in June 2015 and is currently serving as the project manager for the Community of Practice and Safety Support (COMPASS) program and for the Tech4Rest study. Dr. Parker has conducted research in the areas of workplace aggression, workday fatigue, off-work recovery from stress, and job attitudes. Her current research combines both quantitative and qualitative approaches to better understand the health and safety resources available in occupations without traditional organizational structures. Dr. Parker is particularly interested in barriers and facilitators to health among workers in low-wage jobs and in implementing interventions to improve resource availability and well-being among vulnerable workers.

Barb Epstien - Research Associate

Barb Epstien, MPH, CIH, FAIHA

Barb Epstien recently (2016) joined the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences as Fatality Investigator and Outreach Specialist in the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, (OR-FACE) program. Ms. Epstien is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) with more than 25 years' experience in occupational and environmental health and safety including consulting, training, and OSHA regulatory compliance. She has worked with employers and employees in a variety of industry sectors. Ms. Epstien earned her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and her BA from Knox College. She is a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (FAIHA) and is an active AIHA member both locally (Pacific NW Section) and nationally (Construction Committee).

Layla Mansfield - Research Associate

Layla Mansfield
Layla Mansfield joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in fall of 2016 as the project manager for the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, (OR-FACE) and the Safety and Health Intervention for Truck Drivers (SHIFT) study. Dr. Mansfield earned her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a minor in Occupational Health Psychology from Portland State University in 2018. She is passionate about applying scientific principles to enhance organizational and employee outcomes and has conducted previous studies examining training effectiveness, employee turnover, and workplace safety.

Jarred Rimby, Research Assistant II

Whittier Guy

Jarred Rimby joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in March 2018 as a Research Assistant II working across the Safety and Health Intervention for Truck Drivers (SHIFT), Tech4Rest, and Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) projects. Mr. Rimby earned his BA in Chemical Biology and Global Health Studies from Whittier College. He is interested in the development and evaluation of public health interventions that seek to improve the health of vulnerable populations, particularly those that function in cross-cultural contexts.