Incorporating Worksite Interventions in Safety and Health: Building Capacity for Total Worker Health
PI: Lisa Gren, PhD and Jeremy Biggs, MD
Project Years: 1-3
Project Description: Approximately 10% of US workers (14.4 million) are thought to be exposed to infectious diseases at least once per week, and 18.5% (26.7 million) at least once per month. Workers deemed essential to sustaining the well-being of others have had to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic, often at great risk of infection. This burden has disproportionately affected racialized groups, foreign-born workers, and other vulnerable groups. While COVID-19 continues to disrupt businesses and cause psychosocial stress, illness, and mortality among workers, we must also anticipate future pandemics of respiratory infectious diseases. The aims of this study are to 1) assess a worker-engaged process to implement controls to decrease exposure to respiratory pathogens in the workplace and 2) synthesize mixed methods data to develop guidelines and training to support translation of worker-engaged solutions to mitigate workplace exposure to respiratory pathogens. The process will use a community-based participatory research approach to engage workers, employers, and subject matter experts to identify and implement environmental controls using the Burden-Need-Impact framework and Evidence Integration Triangle at five manufacturing businesses in Utah. The long-term goal of this study is to improve workers’ safety, health, and well-being through the development and dissemination of guidelines for responding to respiratory infectious disease epidemics.