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Dong X.S.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Wang X.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Fujimoto A.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Dobbin R.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health | Year: 2012

This study assessed chronic back pain among older construction workers in the United States by analyzing data from the 1992-2008 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a large-scale longitudinal survey. Fixedeffects methods were applied in the multiple logistic regression model to explore the association between back pain and time-varying factors (e.g., employment, job characteristics, general health status) while controlling for stable variables (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity). Results showed that about 40% of older construction workers over the age of 50 suffered from persistent back pain or problems. Jobs involving a great deal of stress or physical effort significantly increased the risk of back disorders and longest-held jobs in construction increased the odds of back disorders by 32% (95% CI: 1.04-1.67). Furthermore, poor physical and mental health were strongly correlated with back problems. Enhanced interventions for construction workers are urgently needed given the aging workforce and high prevalence of back disorders in this industry. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.


Welch L.S.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Haile E.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Boden L.I.,Boston University | Hunting K.L.,George Washington University
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: To assess the intersection of work demands, chronic medical and musculoskeletal conditions, aging, and disability, we initiated a longitudinal study of construction roofers who were current union members between the ages of 40 and 59. Methods: Participants were asked about the presence of medical conditions and musculoskeletal disorders; the Work Limitations Questionnaire, the SF-12, and other validated assessments of social and economic impact of injury were included. Results: Factors at baseline that predicted leaving for a health-related reason were older age, lower physical functioning, work limitations, and having missed work. Those who left roofing for a health-related reason were much more likely to have a lower economic score at the 1 year interview. Conclusions: Medical and musculoskeletal conditions are strongly associated with work limitation, missed work, and reduced physical functioning; these factors are also associated with premature departure from the workforce. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:552-560, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Baron S.L.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Beard S.,National Health Research Institute | Davis L.K.,Occupational Health Surveillance Program | Delp L.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Nearly one of every three workers in the United States is low-income. Low-income populations have a lower life expectancy and greater rates of chronic diseases compared to those with higher incomes. Low- income workers face hazards in their workplaces as well as in their communities. Developing integrated public health programs that address these combined health hazards, especially the interaction of occupational and non-occupational risk factors, can promote greater health equity. Methods: We apply a social-ecological perspective in considering ways to improve the health of the low-income working population through integrated health protection and health promotion programs initiated in four different settings: the worksite, state and local health departments, community health centers, and community-based organizations. Results: Examples of successful approaches to developing integrated programs are presented in each of these settings. These examples illustrate several complementary venues for public health programs that consider the complex interplay between work-related and non work-related factors, that integrate health protection with health promotion and that are delivered at multiple levels to improve health for low-income workers. Conclusions: Whether at the workplace or in the community, employers, workers, labor and community advocates, in partnership with public health practitioners, can deliver comprehensive and integrated health protection and health promotion programs. Recommendations for improved research, training, and coordination among health departments, health practitioners, worksites and community organizations are proposed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Dong X.S.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Wang X.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Largay J.A.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Sokas R.,Georgetown University
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: This study examined the relationship between work-related injuries and health outcomes among a cohort of blue-collar construction workers. Materials and Methods: Data were from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort (NLSY79; n=12,686). A range of health outcomes among blue-collar construction workers (n=1,435) were measured when they turned age 40 (1998-2006) and stratified by these workers' prior work-related injury status between 1988 and 2000. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to measure differences among subgroups. Results: About 38% of the construction cohort reported injuries resulting in days away from work (DAFW); another 15% were injured but reported no DAFW (NDAFW). At age 40, an average of 10 years after injury, those with DAFW injury had worse self-reported general health and mental health, and more diagnosed conditions and functional limitations than those without injury. This difference was statistically significant after controlling for major demographics. Discussion: Adverse health effects from occupational injury among construction workers persist longer than previously documented. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:308-318, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Baker R.,University of California at Berkeley | Chang C.,University of California | Bunting J.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Betit E.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Research translation too often relies on passive methods that fail to reach those who can impact the workplace. The need for better research to practice (r2p) approaches is especially pressing in construction, where a disproportionate number of workers suffer serious injury illness. Methods: A triage process was designed and used to systematically review completed research, assess r2p readiness, establish priorities, and launch dissemination follow-up efforts. A mixed quantitative and qualitative approach was used. Results: The process proved effective in ensuring that significant findings and evidence-based solutions are disseminated actively. Key factors emerged in the selection of follow-up priorities, including availability of partners able to reach end users, windows of opportunity, and cross-cutting approaches that can benefit multiple dissemination efforts. Conclusions: Use of a systematic triage process may have an important role to play in building r2p capacity in construction safety and health. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:838-848, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Gillen M.,U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health | Gittleman J.L.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
Journal of Safety Research | Year: 2010

The NIOSH Construction Program worked with industry stakeholders to develop a National Occupational Safety and Health Construction Agenda to target future research and activities. The Program and its partners are also cognizant that new developments can emerge over time and that research can play an important role in helping to understand and address these emerging issues. Examples of emerging issues relevant to construction safety and health are described. These include: (a) climate change and energy considerations; (b) green construction developments and opportunities; (c) new materials; (d) changes in industry structure and practice; (e) workforce developments and disparities; (f) injury underreporting and cost and risk shifting; and (g) increased interest in addressing root causes. Responding to emerging issues while maintaining a focus on fundamental longstanding issues represents an ongoing challenge for researchers and industry organizations. Additional research to understand the diffusion and adoption of research by the industry is also needed. Research accomplished to date provides a strong foundation for addressing future industry needs and trends.


Dong X.S.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Fujimoto A.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Ringen K.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Stafford E.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: There is convincing evidence that occupational injury and illness rates, particularly those reported by employers in the BLS' Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), substantially underestimate the true magnitude of injury and illness in the construction industry. Methods: Fifteen years of data from five large nationally representative data sources were analyzed, including SOII, CFOI, CBP, CPS, and MEPS. Regression trends and ratio analyses were conducted, and stratified by establishment size and Hispanic ethnicity. Results: Small construction establishments were most likely to underreport injuries. The SOII data only captured 25% of severe injuries among Hispanic workers, and 60% among white workers in small construction establishments. Conclusions: Underreporting is pervasive in the construction industry for small establishments and Hispanic workers. Given that small establishments are predominant in the U.S. construction industry, they should be the focus of a larger effort to identify the true extent of construction-related injuries. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Dong X.S.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Wang X.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Largay J.A.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health | Year: 2015

Background: Many factors contribute to occupational injuries. However, these factors have been compartmentalized and isolated in most studies. Objective: To examine the relationship between work-related injuries and multiple occupational and nonoccupational factors among construction workers in the USA. Methods: Data from the 1988–2000 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort (N512,686) were analyzed. Job exposures and health behaviors were examined and used as independent variables in four multivariate logistic regression models to identify associations with occupational injuries. Results: After controlling for demographic variables, occupational injuries were 18% (95% CI: 1.04–1.34) more likely in construction than in non-construction. Blue-collar occupations, job physical efforts, multiple jobs, and long working hours accounted for the escalated risk in construction. Smoking, obesity/overweight, and cocaine use significantly increased the risk of work-related injury when demographics and occupational factors were held constant. Conclusions: Workplace injuries are better explained by simultaneously examining occupational and nonoccupational characteristics. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2015.


Welch L.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Dement J.,Duke University | West G.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT) established a screening program in 1985 to examine the health hazards of the sheet metal industry in the U.S. and Canada. Methods: 17,345 individuals with over 20 years in the trade and who participated in the program were followed for causes of death between 1986 and 2010. Both SMRs and Cox proportional hazards models investigated predictors of death due to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Results: Significant excess mortality was seen for mesothelioma and asbestosis. Controlling for smoking, a strong trend for increasing lung cancer risk with increasing chest x-ray profusion >0/0 was observed. With an profusion score <1/0, FEV1 /FVC <80% was associated with lung cancer risk. COPD risk increased with increasing profusion score. Conclusions: This study demonstrates asbestos-related diseases among workers with largely indirect exposures and an increased lung cancer risk with low ILO scores. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:378-391, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Goldenhar L.M.,The Center for Construction Research and Training | Stafford P.,The Center for Construction Research and Training
Journal of Safety Research | Year: 2015

Background Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD) account for approximately one-third of all injuries in the U.S. construction industry. Many companies have implemented stretch and flex (s/f) programs to reduce WMSD despite a lack of evidence showing effectiveness. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods study to understand (a) why employers continue devoting resources to s/f programs; (b) how programs vary; and (c) any actual or perceived benefits. Results Nineteen safety and health professionals were interviewed and 133 more (13.3% response rate) completed an on-line survey. Fifty-six percent had implemented an s/f program with the primary goal of reducing WMSDs; though most did not review data to determine goal achievement. Program structure varied in terms of duration, frequency, and type of stretches. There was strong agreement about mandating attendance but not participation, due primarily to liability issues. Cost was a factor when deciding to implement a program but not for sustaining one. The majority had not implemented other ergonomic prevention activities, but many had started conducting daily safety huddles for task and safety planning. Those reporting a reduction in WMSDs agreed that it was not due to the s/f program alone and that other benefits included increased worker camaraderie, communication, and collaboration. Conclusion Although there is little to no scientific evidence showing that they work as intended, construction companies continue to implement s/f programs with the goal of reducing WMSDs. Bringing work crews together for s/f activities has prompted employers to also begin conducting daily safety huddles. Although employers may not be able to link reduced WMDS to an s/f program, the ancillary benefits may warrant the time and resources. Practical applications S/f programs should be only one component of a more comprehensive ergonomics prevention program. Conducting daily safety huddles at the same time also may enhance worker communication, camaraderie, collaboration and improve safety outcomes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and National Safety Council.

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