Protecting construction workers from being injured or dying in accidents is the mission of the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). CPWR not only publishes in-depth research in the field of construction safety and health but also provides services and training programs for construction workers.
The researchers at CPWR are working in close collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on safety and health issues affecting construction workers. Based on research results, CPWR develops new interventions to protect construction workers. CPWR is working with tool and equipment manufacturers, instructors and insurance companies to reach out to contractors and workers. They believe in r2p: research to practice and p2r: practice to research.
Last year the institution offered 6,133 courses and trained 1,177 trainers who themselves trained 78,702 workers. CPWR firmly believes that improving safety culture and climate leads to a reduction of injury and illnesses.
The researchers at CPWR have also created a database of all construction fatalities reported to NIOSH between 1982 and 2015. By crunching numbers from past accidents, researchers can identify long term issues that need to be addressed. For example, CPWR searchers recently found that more than half of the construction workers who died in falls were not provided with proper safety equipment.
The CPWR is also building an impressive database of practical construction solutions for worker safety that can be used directly by contractors. For example CPWR researchers developed an application for rotary hammers and hammer drills that not only protect worker health but also improve productivity.
The CPWR monitors all new construction trends such as new technology and new materials. Recently researchers have been focusing of the dangers of nano materials. So far they identified 560 construction products that contain nano materials that can harm workers’ health. The dangers of working with Spray-polyurethane foam (SPF) are also among the actual concerns of the CPWR researchers.
CPWR also offers medical screenings for thousands of construction workers formerly employed on the nation’s nuclear weapons sites. These screenings have been critical in diagnosing early signs of cancer or respiratory ailments and therefore protecting workers lives.
Download the complete 2017 report from the CPWR