Pre-Conference Workshops

March 5, 2008 - 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

01 - Applying Diffusion of Innovation Concepts to the Spread of Evidence-Based Practices in Occupational Health

This workshop will introduce diffusion of innovation theory to participants and show how certain of its key concepts can be applied to purposively spread worthy practices, programs, and policies across worksites. In particular, we will focus on (1) the societal sector perspective on social change as a means of identifying potential adopters; (2) social influence as a major aspect of diffusion theory and demonstrate its embeddedness in social network analysis; (3) social network analysis as an audience segmentation approach; (4) innovation attributes and how categories of innovation perceptions can be used formatively to increase the likelihood of positive adoption decisions; and (5) readiness assessments of three types. Then, we will consider issues about practice implementation and maintenance in complex organizations, especially (6) distinctions of functional roles in organizational change, and (7) basic tenets of implementation support systems.

Workshop Presenter:

James W. Dearing, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, and Co-Director (with Russell Glasgow) of the IHR Center for Health Dissemination and Implementation Research. He was Professor of Communication and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University, on the faculty of Michigan State University, and a visiting faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Michigan. He studies the strategic use of diffusion of innovation concepts to accelerate the spread of evidence-based practices, programs, and policies. He studied under and worked closely with Everett M. Rogers for 20 years. Dearing has been principal investigator for research sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy & Research, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and other organizations. His most recent book is Communication of Innovations (2006, co-edited with Arvind Singhal). Dearing is a member of the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine framework committee for a five-year programmatic review of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

02 - The Cutting Edge in Safety Climate Research and Practice

The workshop will focus on presenting a state-of-the-art review of recent research on safety climate, including meta-analytic findings. It will have a practical emphasis reviewing best practice and lessons learnt from the development and evaluation of organizational interventions aimed at improving safety climate. The workshop will include interactive exercises where participants analyze and discuss a safety intervention case study. Finally, the workshop will consider future research on the linkage between safety climate and the health culture of organizations.

Workshop Presenters:

Sharon Clarke, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in Organizational Psychology at Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester. She has published widely in the area of health and safety management, including articles published in some of the top international journals for organizational psychology (e.g., Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Journal of Organizational Behaviour) as well as internationally recognised specialist safety and risk publications (such as Safety Science and Risk Analysis). She has co-authored the books Managing the Risk of Workplace Stress with Professor Cary L. Cooper (Routledge, 2004) and Human Safety and Risk Management, 2e with Professors Ian Glendon and Eugene McKenna (CRC Press, 2006). She is currently the Principal Investigator on an IOSH-funded project (2007-09) examining the long-term effectiveness of safety training interventions. Her research features regularly at leading international conferences (e.g., US Academy of Management, International Congress of Applied Psychology and Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology).

Christine Flitcroft is a Research Associate and doctoral candidate at the University of Manchester, working on an IOSH-funded research project. Her work related background comes from the fire protection industry. She has a first class honours degree in Psychology, completed in 2003, and an MSc in Organisational Psychology, completed at UMIST in 2004. She has an interest in all areas of occupational psychology and focused her undergraduate dissertation upon work-life balance in the public sector and industry. Within the fire protection industry, she has worked with a variety of industries including project teams within the construction and retail industry and professional bodies such as the LPCB. Christine’s Masters dissertation was in safety climate and risk perception and focused upon individual factors, organisational factors and social factors which enabled her to develop skills in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.

03 - Traumatic Stress and Resilience in Workers Exposed to Hazardous Occupations and Disaster Relief Operations

Increasing attention is being paid to the impact of disasters and emerging threats on the mental and behavioral health of disaster responders, and personnel involved in disaster relief and clean-up since the terrorist actions of 2001 resulting in mass fatalities, widespread fear, and chaotic safety management. Various other significant health and safety events such as SARS in 2003, the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, Katrina in 2005, mining disasters in 2006, and prolonged deployment of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to challenge disaster relief operations and expose workers from diverse occupations to traumatic stress. This workshop will discuss hazardous and disaster worker resilience, the latest key findings in disaster mental health, and includes a problem-solving hands-on scenario exercise for participants. The intent is to cross-pollinate diverse scientific disciplines and encourage further research about traumatic stress and resilience within a workplace context and organizational culture. After completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand key concepts about traumatic stress and resilience

  • Contribute to planning for disaster personnel training

  • Recognize key resources and research potential in this topic area

Workshop Presenters:

Robert J. Ursano, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland and founding Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS). Dr. Ursano is widely published in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and public health planning for the psychological effects of terrorism, bioterrorism, traumatic events and disasters including war. Dr. Ursano has over 300 publications, is the co-author or editor of eight books and is Editor of Psychiatry and senior editor of the first Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry (Cambridge University Press), published in fall 2007. Dr. Ursano was the first Chairman of the American Psychiatric Association’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster. He has received the Department of Defense Humanitarian Service Award and the highest award of the International Traumatic Stress Society, The Lifetime Achievement Award, for “outstanding and fundamental contributions to understanding traumatic stress”. He is the recipient of the William C. Porter Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. Dr Ursano chaired the development of the first American Psychiatric Association’s Treatment Guidelines for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder. Most recently, he and CSTS were asked by the American Public Health Association and the World Health Organization to assist in drafting guidelines for behavioral health and a potential influenza pandemic.

Dori B. Reissman, M.D., M.P.H., CAPTAIN, United States Public Health Service, Senior Medical Advisor, Office of the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Dori B. Reissman has been providing strategic leadership regarding deployment health and safety, traumatic stress, and resilience for emergency responders. Contributions include emergency response service, expert consultation, applied behavioral research, and policy guidance. Dr. Reissman initiated efforts to address organizational and workforce resilience at CDC and supported numerous public health missions in response to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reissman completed Residency training in Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 1997, including a Masters in Public Health at the University of Illinois. Previously, she completed Residency training in Psychiatry and provided psychiatric consultation services in private and faculty-based practices, teaching, and supervisory positions in university-affiliated hospitals. Dr. Reissman was Chief of the Emergency Psychiatric Services at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York when the 1993 World Trade Center bombing incident occurred. She received the Medical Degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York in 1984. Prior to medical training, Dr. Reissman obtained a Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences from Cook College, Rutgers University in NJ, and a Masters degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Columbia University in New York.

George S. Everly, Jr., Ph.D. is a member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness and serves on the faculties of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Loyola College in Maryland. He has held honorary professorships at the University of Hong Kong, Universidad de Norbert Weiner (Lima, Peru), and Universidad de Flores (Buenos Aires, Argentina). In addition, he serves on the adjunct faculties of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Center for Disease Control Mental Health Collaborative Committee, and the FBI National Academy. He is an advisor to the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong. Dr. Everly is co-founder of and representative to the United Nations for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, a non-profit United Nations-affiliated public health and safety organization. He was formerly Distinguished Visiting Professor, Universidad de Flores (Argentina), and was Senior Research Advisor, Social Development Office, Office of His Highness, the Amir of Kuwait, State of Kuwait. Prior to these appointments, Dr. Everly was a Harvard Visiting Scholar, Harvard University; a Visiting Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and Chief Psychologist and Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Johns Hopkins' Homewood Hospital Center.

Dr. Everly is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress, has been awarded the Fellow's Medal of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the Professor's Medal of the Universidad de Weiner (Peru). He is the author, co-author, or editor of 14 textbooks and over 100 professional papers. Dr. Everly serves on the editorial board of Stress Medicine and was a past contributing editor for the American Journal of Health Promotion.

March 5, 2008 - 1:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.

04 - Finding, Writing, and Obtaining Grant Funding for Occupational Health Research

This workshop will introduce attendees to the grants process for those interested in occupational safety and health research. The focus will be on researchers who are new to the grants process (i.e., advanced graduate students and junior researchers). The workshop will be divided into two main sections, each emphasizing an important aspect of the process of identifying, preparing, and hopefully obtaining grant support for this type of research. One section of the workshop will be designed to introduce strategies for effective grant proposal preparation and writing. The goal here will be to prepare workshop attendees with practical tips that can be used to write the most effective grant applications. A second section of this workshop will provide an overview of the federal grants process from concept to award. In addition, attendees will be provided with an insider's perspective on the vetting process that extends beyond the initial scoring of proposals. The presentations in this workshop will leave attendees with an improved understanding of what it will take for them to secure grant-based funding for their research. This workshop will also provide a forum in which questions about the grants process can be directed to experts in this area. Dedicated time is included in this workshop for questions and answers and more in-depth exploration of particular issues that may be of interest to the workshop attendees.

Workshop Presenters:

Jack Kues, Ph.D. is Assistant Senior Vice President for Continuing Professional Development at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. He is also Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education and Professor Emeritus. His academic training is in social psychology (Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1985). He has been actively involved in teaching and research throughout his career and has developed curricula in research methodology, statistics, and grant writing. He has participated in over 20 research, education, and programmatic grants as Principle Investigator (PI), Co-PI, Program Director, and Program Evaluator. He has been a grant reviewer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Health Resources and Services Administration, and several state agencies and foundations. He has also developed several grant programs for the State of Ohio and private foundations.

Tom Hilton, Ph.D. has been involved in organizational change for 30 years across a variety of industries and contexts. A great deal of his work has been devoted to helping implement innovative business practices in the healthcare field concentrating on quality management and leadership training, career development, and labor relations, as well as quality of work life effects on job performance, organizational effectiveness, and staff turnover. He has held positions at Southwestern Medical School, the Naval Health Research Center, the Naval School of Health Sciences, the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel, and the Office of the Chief of Naval Research, from which he retired as a Captain. Tom came to the National Institute on Drug Abuse at NIH after seven years as founding manager of the I/O Psychology lab at FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute. He currently is the program official for NIDA's organizational and management sciences portfolio in health services research. Tom has published or presented over 80 scientific papers. His consulting has included the White House National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Office of the Surgeon General of the Navy, the Pentagon Joint Chiefs, several large private sector corporations and Washington-area consulting firms.

05 - How to Build the Business Case for Workplace Safety and Health

In today’s economic environment firms may not be able to fund every new project to promote OSH in the workplace. Important, and often difficult, business decisions on allocating scarce resources must be made. A business case is a decision support and planning tool that determines the financial results and other business consequences of an action—in this case an investment in occupational safety

This workshop will present the current best practices in developing business cases for demonstrating the value of OSH interventions or programs. It will provide instruction on how to complete the following seven-step procedure in developing a business case:

1. Describe the current situation, which includes defining the health- and safety-protection problem and the current OSH program in place.

2. Define the objectives of the study, including any health, organizational, time, physical, or financial outcomes the intervention or program needs to achieve.

3. Identify options to meet those objectives and determine the effectiveness of those options in relationship to the objectives. In this case, there would be no additional intervention options because the comparison would be with the current program.

4. Define the analytical framework, including the time period for which the costs and benefits of the intervention or program will be measured.

5. Assess outcomes, benefits and costs associated with the intervention or program as well as the effects of making no change.

6. Identify preferred options by calculating the economic and financial measures, including cash flow statements, simple return on investment, Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Production Equivalent Units, Impact on Unit Cost and Percent Impact on Unit Cost. Conduct sensitivity analyses to assess uncertainty effects of key variables

7. Prepare a written Business Case Report

Workshop Presenter:

Elyce A. Biddle, Ph.D. is the Senior Economist within the Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Her work focuses on economic cost models and health outcome measurements for occupational injuries and fatalities. Her most recent work has involved drafting guidelines for CDC on methodology for constructing business cases for health promotion and prevention and applying these methods in field studies at collaborating firms. She is currently the NIOSH Coordinator of the Economic Evaluation of Occupational Health and Safety Interventions at the Company Level Task Force, serves on the NIOSH Economics Forum, is an elected member of the steering committee for the CDC Health Economics Research Group, and chaired the National Occupational Research Agenda Social and Economic Consequences of Workplace Illness and Injury team. Before joining NIOSH, Dr. Biddle was an economist in the Office of Safety, Health and Working Conditions at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While at BLS, she developed two major structures within the ANSI Z16.2 national standard classification system that capture characteristics of occupational injuries and illnesses, and she developed and conducted a national training program for that classification system. Dr. Biddle was involved in the redesign of two major BLS surveys, the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in the U.S. and COMP2000, an integrated wage survey within the United States. In 2006, she received the Samuel Gomper’s in recognition of outstanding efforts in improving the working conditions of the masses from the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Her work has been published in the International Labor Organization’s Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Contemporary Economic Policy, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Journal of Safety and Health Research, Professional Safety, the IAIABC Journal, the Injury Control and Safety Promotion, and the Monthly Labor Review.

06 - Building Occupational Safety and Health Skills for the 21st Century: A Cultural Competence Workshop for Researchers and Practitioners

The American workforce is more racially and ethnically diverse than ever before. This, together with racial and ethnic disparities in areas of work-related health and safety status, creates an undeniable need for occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals to conduct research and practice in a way that truly benefits diverse populations. “Cultural competence” is a key capacity that researchers and practitioners working with people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds should possess. Now emphasized in public health in general as a critical part of the formula for eliminating health disparities, cultural competence is broadly defined as “a set of congruent behaviors and attitudes….enabling an individual to work effectively in cross-cultural contexts.” There are five essential elements that work synergistically to build a professional’s cultural competence. This includes (1) valuing diversity, (2) having the capacity for cultural self–assessment, (3) being conscious of the "dynamics" that may emerge when cultures interact, (4) possessing cultural knowledge, and (5) being able to design research, interventions and other services that reflect a good understanding of diversity between and within cultures.

This 3-hour workshop is designed for researchers and practitioners with a desire to develop or increase their capacity to engage in culturally competent work with racially and ethnically diverse populations. It will introduce participants to the concept of cultural competence and discuss why its integration into OSH is important. Additionally, the workshop will allow participants to thoughtfully explore various aspects of their own culture, and to examine how culture influences assumptions, beliefs, reactions, and the adoption of specific approaches to research and practice. The workshop is also designed to help participants critically evaluate their current levels of competence. To enhance cultural knowledge specifically and cultural competence generally, it will describe important cultural values to which researchers and practitioners should be attuned and potential barriers that may emerge while working with people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Finally, the workshop will highlight research and service approaches or techniques that can be applied in work with diverse populations. These techniques and approaches will be brought to life with examples of past research and practice.

A combination of lecture, vignettes, group discussions, and exercises will be used to facilitate active learning throughout the workshop.

Workshop Presenter:

Rashaun Roberts, Ph.D. is a research psychologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH). Dr. Roberts received her master’s and doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to joining the research team at NIOSH in 2002, Dr. Roberts completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, where she developed an expertise in occupational mental health. In her current position at NIOSH, Dr. Roberts directs a research initiative which is focused on identifying workplace factors which place minority population groups at risk for developing physical and mental health problems. Dr. Roberts’ clinical experiences have included work with racially and ethnically diverse populations across a range of socioeconomic levels. Her past consulting experiences have focused largely on diversity, cultural competence and communication issues in the workplace.

Caryn Block, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her work focuses on creating climates that foster individual and organizational learning, as well as issues of race and gender in the workplace. Her publications include work on managers and their impact on creating climates that are most likely to foster learning, the influence of racial identity in organizational contexts, perceptions of affirmative action programs, and the influence of sex role and racial stereotypes on perceptions of men and women as managers. Dr. Block has collaborated with researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to examine the impact of perceived racial discrimination at work on adjustment. She is currently collaborating with researchers at the ADVANCE Project of the National Science Foundation examining the long-term effects of stereotype threat on women scientists. She has published this work in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology,