Occupational health and safety research extends reach
Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) has unveiled Canada’s first mobile laboratory for occupational safety and health research.
The mobile lab will allow researchers and university students to connect with geographically isolated workers in Northern Ontario communities, leading to even better prevention of occupational injuries and disease, said Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn. “This is a ground-breaking approach to occupational health and safety research.”
The mobile laboratory is a 40-foot custom designed vehicle containing a clinic room, meeting area and lab space to support field research in mental health and quality of work life, mobile equipment design for accident prevention, vibration-induced injury prevention, fatigue mitigation, heat stress prevention, sleep hygiene, and program evaluation.
The mobile lab will serve communities that have traditionally been excluded from occupational health and safety research due to their remote location. It will increase collaboration between research centres, workers, industry, and health and safety agencies.
The research it conducts will benefit workers across Canada.
“This mobile lab will be a critical element to CROSH’s field-to-lab-to-field research approach,” said Leo Gerard, international United Steelworkers president and chair of the CROSH advisory board. “By bringing the research lab to northern worksites, workers can play an active role in improving their own workplaces.”
“M-CROSH will change the way occupational health and safety research is conducted,” said CROSH research chair Dr. Tammy Eger. “It will connect workers to current best practices through CROSH collaborations with other research centres and safe workplace association partners.”
A number of communities across Northern Ontario will see M-CROSH roll into town as the inaugural Driving Prevention Through Research tour kicks off this fall.
The mobile lab was made possible by a $500,000 contribution from the Ministry of Labour.