1D: Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health (CMOSH) (1.5 LU/HSW)

The CMOSH session will showcase new synergies in the Pacific Northwest that aim to embrace the safety, health and wellbeing of the construction workforce. These synergies include industry-academic partnerships, technology deployment, tools for field and business assessment, and more.

Panel Lead

Dr. Ken-Yu Lin is a P.D. Koon Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Construction Management at the University of Washington (UW). She is the director for the Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health (CMOSH) program at the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Health (NCOSH), a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funded Education and Research Center (ERC) in Region X. Dr. Lin is interested in research applications that contribute to smart safety and health in construction; construction education and training; and sustainable practices. Her technical backgrounds land in serious gaming and visualization; information and communication technology; intelligent sensing and monitoring; and ontologies and semantic approaches.


Health and Safety Concerns for Women in the Trades
Noah Seixas, University of Washington

Construction work can be dangerous, with exposure to toxic chemicals, heavy equipment, electrocution, and ergonomic stressors. Little is known about women-specific hazards, and whether their minority status—less than 3% of skilled trades workers in the United States are women—subjects them to additional health and safety risks. Our study uses surveys to explore the physical and psychosocial workplace hazards that impact tradeswomen’s risk for injury or stress. 291 surveys were completed in 2015-2016 with 198 tradeswomen and 93 tradesmen in WA State. Study findings reveal myriad health and safety challenges tradeswomen face in the male-dominated industry including gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and overcompensation. Logistic regression analysis shows that gender is a significant predictor for injury and perceived stress.


Temporary LED Construction Lighting
Chris Mak, University of Washington    

The study illustrates the University of Washington’s narrative with regard to the history of implementing low-voltage LEDs for temporary construction lighting, the reasoning behind why LEDs were chosen by the institution, and the LED utilization at the University of Washington’s Animal Research and Care Facility construction site. Conclusion remarks report on how the University can better implement temporary LED lighting and the record keeping process for streamlining potential rebates from Seattle City Light.

Heat Illness Risk Factors in Construction
Miriam Calkins, University of Washington

The study evaluates potential risk factors for heat-related illness and heat-associated injury risk in a sample of commercial roofing workers in the Greater Seattle area. Data was collected in the summer and fall of 2016 on both hot and cool days for each worker. Exposure was characterized at the personal level using wearable sensors, area level using area monitors, and regional level using data from existing weather stations. Physiological factors pertaining to work and heat, including heart rate, physical activity, and core body temperature, were collected continuously throughout the work shift from each participant while injury risk factors, including postural sway and psychomotor vigilance, were collected before and after the work shift. Additional information was collected from participants in the form of a survey. This study aims to compare variability in exposures measured at three different levels from the worker, characterize heat stress and heat strain in this population, and evaluate the effects of heat stress on injury-associated risk factors.

Pre-Apprentice Program for Construction through PACE
Diane Davies, PACE program.

PACE is an apprenticeship readiness program started by the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council (WSBCTC) and is housed in CERC.  PACE trains diverse members of our communities: women, minorities, formerly incarcerated individuals, people with barriers to apprenticeship entry. PACE students receive training in health and safety, trade information, work ethics, blueprint and tool use. The funding for PACE comes from WSBCTC, City of Seattle, King County Workforce Development Council and WSDOT.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Noah Seixas is a Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. He is a certified industrial hygienist with an emphasis on the quantification of exposure for occupational epidemiology. In addition to teaching occupational hygiene courses and maintaining an active research program,Dr. Seixas serves as Chief Editor of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene. Current research interests include characterization of exposures and intervention strategies to control exposures to noise in construction and welding fume in shipyards. Dr. Seixas is also interested in organizational factors that may contribute to disparaties in occupational health experience, especially among immigrant workers.


Christopher Mak is a M. Sci. candidate at the UW Department of Construction Management and is the first student to be accepted in the Construction Management Occupational Safety and Health track. He holds a BA from Western Washington University as well as a degree in carpentry from Seattle Central College and a certificate in Construction Management from the University of Washington. Christopher worked for a medium-sized construction subcontractor as a craftsperson before applying to the program. In the past year, he developed an interest in LEDs for construction lighting after working with the University of Washington’s Capital Planning and Development office.

Miriam Calkins is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. She has an MS in exposure science and is currently a third-year Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) fellow. Miriam’s research interests are into the intersection between occupational health and climate change. Her dissertation research assesses the effects of outdoor heat exposure on occupational health and injury risk in the construction industry. In addition to her PhD, Miriam is also completing a Certificate in Climate Science through the University of Washington Program on Climate Change. As part of this certificate program, Miriam is helping launch a Speakers Bureau within the Martin Luther King Labor Council’s Climate Caucus to facilitate discussion on the science behind the changing climate and issues pertaining to occupational health, jobs, and opportunities.

Diane Davies is the King County Program Manager for Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council’s Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Education (PACE).  Diane has eleven years of experience in pre-apprenticeship training.  She has managed highly successful apprentice preparation programs and in the summer of 2015, joined with long-time partners in the building trades to develop and launch PACE.

Through her work in pre-apprenticeship she has helped hundreds of people build careers that moved them out of poverty and broke cycles of incarceration.

Diane’s areas of expertise include construction training, training for diverse populations and for people with barriers, community development, non-profit management, organizational development, fundraising, and landscape horticulture.  Diane has also owned her own residential landscaping company and worked in several other phases of the horticultural industry. Diane has a B.S. in Landscape Horticulture and a Certificate of Non-profit Management.