268602 A method to capture survey data from construction workers pre- and post-exposure to a worksite intervention

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Emily Sparer, MS , Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Kincaid Lowe , Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jack Dennerlein, PhD , Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Worksite interventions are often evaluated through surveys administered pre- and post-exposure; however, in the construction industry, this poses significant challenges due to the highly transient nature of the workers.

We developed a program where workers are first surveyed as they come onto the site during new worker safety orientations (pre-intervention). Capturing workers post-intervention exposure was more difficult, as workers and management do not always know in advance when a worker will leave the worksite. Therefore, we followed up with workers after each 30-day period, using text messaging and collaboration with management to identify which workers were still on site after a period of exposure.

The program was pilot tested over five months at a 20,600-square foot commercial construction site in New England. Of all the 58 new workers captured as they came on site, 30 were still onsite after 30 days, 14 remained after two months, and 10 were on site after three months. Five were on-site for the duration of our study. Follow-up rates for those still present after 30 days was quite high, 97%. These data most likely vary with project size, duration, and scope of work; yet, they provide insight into how workers come and go on construction sites and the methodological challenges associated with traditional intervention evaluation protocols.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe methodological challenges associated with follow up with construction workers as part of intervention evaluation protocols.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in occupational health and safety research in the construction industry for two years and work closely with a team of experts, including health and safety professionals and faculty members from the Harvard School of Public Health. My scientific interests include workplace health promotion, injury prevention, and occupational exposures.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.