Ryan B. Olson, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
  • Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
  • Co-Director, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
  • Multiple Principle Investigator, Oregon Occupational Public Health Program


Dr. Olson is an Occupational Health Psychologist whose research program has specialized in occupational fatality surveillance and prevention, and safety, health, and well-being interventions for isolated (lone) workers in demanding occupations (e.g., commercial drivers, home care workers). His areas of contribution to science include: effective Total Worker Health® interventions for isolated populations; behavioral self-monitoring applied to workplace behavior change and transfer of training; self-assessment of ergonomic and safety exposures; and environmental and social motivational variables.  

Dr. Olson served as a primary faculty member at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences from 2005-2023. In 2024, Dr. Olson transitioned to a secondary faculty role within the Institute. His new primary position is at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah where he continues his research program and trains graduate students in Occupational Health Psychology. During his time at OHSU Dr. Olson established an Internationally regarded research program with commercial drivers (funded by NHLBI and CDC/NIOSH). He was also a founding investigator and then Co-Director (with Leslie Hammer) of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center – a NIOSH Center of Excellence in Total Worker Health®. And, for over a decade, he helped lead Oregon’s Occupational Public Health Program (funded by CDC/NIOSH) in partnership with colleagues at the Oregon Health Authority.  

In his current secondary faculty role at the Institute Dr. Olson collaborates with faculty and participates as an Investigator in the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center where he leads the COMPASS for Navigating Pain Project.  

Education and training

    • M.A., 1999, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Western Michigan University
    • Ph.D., 2002, AppliedBehavior Analysis, Western Michigan University

Areas of interest

  • Occupational safety and health interventions
  • Total Worker Health®
  • Lone workers
  • Obesity
  • Sleep and shift work
  • Diet
  • Exercise



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