NORA Symposium 2006: Research Makes a Difference! April 18-26, 2006, Washington, DC. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2006 Apr; :125-126
Research to date has demonstrated the range of occupational hazards, characterized the levels of exposure for some specific workers and tasks, and validated some of the many available control strategies. Additionally, various efforts have been made to collect and disseminate information on new and innovative control technologies. The Workplace Solutions and Construction Solutions database projects will take the critical next step of organizing and presenting this information in a clear and simple web-based format easily-accessible to employers and workers. The goal of the Workplace Solutions internet site is to enhance the NIOSH small business resources site to transfer the results of current research, solution information and technology transfer information to small business workplaces. Information presented on the Workplace Solutions site will include hazard information, training materials and evidence-based solutions targeted to specific small business segments. The complimentary Construction Solutions site will present simple overviews of hazards and risks associated with core job tasks in fifteen different construction trade groups. For each task/hazard pair, the Construction Solutions database will identify and describe a range of currently-available solutions, including control technologies and techniques aimed at architects, manufacturers, contractors and workers. Where available, productivity and return-on-investment considerations will be included in solution information developed for both projects. An interdisciplinary pool of subject matter experts will provide all database content, drawing on material from a variety of sources. Individual hazard and solution records will be peer reviewed for accuracy, clarity and transparency, and website users will be invited to provide their own online reviews of all solution ideas. Browsers of either site will be encouraged to submit new solutions ideas for inclusion in the databases. To assess usage and perceived impact of the Construction Solutions database, periodic electronic surveys will be conducted with OSHA 500-certified construction apprenticeship instructors. By improving access to simple and reliable hazard and control information for specific small business segments and core construction job tasks, the Workplace Solutions and Construction Solutions internet sites will help employers and workers identify high-risk tasks and evidence-based solutions. Having access to a centralized solution database will also enable industry innovators and health and safety researchers to rapidly share new solution ideas and avoid duplication in effort. Finally, systematically organizing existing exposure and control information will highlight gaps in information and technology, including tasks in need of assessment, controls in need of evaluation, and hazards lacking effective or feasible solutions.