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.
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.
Learn more about Tech4Rest study for Team Truck Drivers
Success & Health Impacts For Transit operators during Onboarding (SHIFT Onboard)
SHIFT Onboard stands for "Success and Health Impacts For Transit operators during Onboarding." It is enhanced training and support for new bus operators during their first year on the job. The program involves group activities and discussion during operators’ initial training period, followed by collaborative and supportive online challenges. Online challenges include setting health and job success goals, and tracking goal progress and job satisfaction, and completing short training topics on health and job success. New operators’ supervisors also receive training on how to support newcomers’ safety, health, and well-being on the job.
Learn more about the SHIFT Onboard project for new bus operators.
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.
Learn more about SHIFT (Safety & Health Involvement For Truckers).
Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE)
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.
Learn more about OR-FACE (Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation)
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.
Ryan Olson - Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Nikolas Smart - Research Associate
Nikolas joined the Olson Lab in April 2019 as the project manager for the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, (OR-FACE) and SHIFT Onboard (Success & Health Impacts for Transit operators during Onboarding) programs. Nikolas earned his MS in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College in 2013, and has been in a variety of research projects since. Most recently, he examined the role of technology in communication methods between physicians and nurses. Nikolas is excited to be involved in state and regional work that aims to save lives, and increase quality of life. His interests outside of work include transportation development, environmental sustainability, privacy, and game design.
Sean Rice - Research Associate
Sean Rice joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in January 2020 as a research associate working across the SHIFT Onboard (Success & Health Impacts for Transit operators during Onboarding), COMPASS (Community of Practice and Safety Support), and Tech4Rest projects. Sean earned his BS in Psychology from the University of Florida, his MS & Ph.D in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University. He is interested in applying advanced statistical techniques, including psychometric assessment and latent variable modeling, to help improve health, well-being, and safety practices in the workplace.
Barbara Hanley - Research Associate
Barbara Hanley is the fatality investigator for the Oregon Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) program. Barbara has over 20 years of experience in environmental regulatory affairs & chemical compliance in the electronics industry where she helped pioneer material recovery processes that reduce electronic waste. She championed the application of green chemistry design principles and sustainable production. Barbara also has 4 years of experience teaching undergraduate public health courses, including Epidemiology and Occupational Standards and Laws. Barbara received a B.S. degree in Environmental Chemistry & Toxicology, and a Master of Public Health degree from Oregon State University, where she also completed a teaching certificate in adult education. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health, focusing on Environmental and Occupational Health at Oregon State University. Barbara is interested in applying epidemiological principles relating chemical policy to human diseases and population-level health effects. Her current research focuses on early-life exposures and their association with developmental outcomes. Barbara is especially interested in children’s health and how it is affected by parental occupation and take-home exposures.
Jarred Rimby - Senior Research Assistant
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.
Leah Greenspan - Senior Research Assistant
Leah Greenspan joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in April 2019 as the senior research assistant on the SHIFT Onboard study and also provides support for the COMPASS study. Leah achieved her MPH with an emphasis in Health Promotion from the Oregon Health and Sciences University-Portland State University School of Public Health in 2019. With a background in curriculum development and education, she enjoys developing and delivering health interventions for the lab's studies and is grateful to participate in research that supports both the health and wellbeing of high-risk workplace populations. When she is not working, Leah enjoys eating good food, going to Blazer games, and learning how to code.
Courtney Donovan - Senior Research Assistant
Courtney Donovan joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in June of 2019 as a Senior Research Assistant working for both SHIFT Onboard and Tech4Rest. Courtney earned her Master’s in Public Health from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in 2019 with a concentration in Health Promotion and Certification in Public Health. She is interested in developing and evaluating effective interventions that address work as a social determinant of health which can be disseminated and implemented broadly to improve population health.
Josie Velasco - Research Assistant II
Josie Velasco joined the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences in July 2019 as a Research assistant 2 for the SHIFT Onboard (Success &Health Impacts for Transit operators during Onboarding) program. Josie earned her BS in Psychology with a minor in Business from Western Oregon University in 2019 where she was involved in a variety of research projects. Her primary research interests involve leadership, change management, and behavioral interventions.
Caitlyn Trullinger-Dwyer - Research Assistant II
Caitlyn Trullinger-Dwyer joined the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences in November of 2019 as a Research Assistant II for the SHIFT Onboard (Success &Health Impacts for Transit operators during Onboarding) program. Caitlyn earned her BA in Neurobiology from the College of Wooster in 2015. Previously, Caitlyn has worked in both breast cancer research in the Sears Lab and alcohol research in the Ryabinin Lab at OHSU. She plans on pursuing a career in Clinical Psychology. Caitlyn is interested in holistic health (physical and mental) of people in difficult occupations. In her spare time, Caitlyn plays Dungeons and Dragons.
Amelia Monfared - Student Research Assistant