Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

Join us for the 2017 Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Design Exchange, 2nd Floor
234 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario

Doors open 4.30 pm.
Lecture 5.00 p.m.
Reception 6.00 p.m.

Sign up here

High-hazard industries: Addressing safety culture, climate and leadership to improve outcomes

By Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar
Director of Research and Evaluation
CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland

Photo of Linda M. GoldenharTargeting high-hazard sectors is one of the key priorities in the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL)’s occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy. One of those sectors is construction. Although the construction sector makes up only 6.7 per cent of Ontario’s employment, it accounts for about 30 per cent of all work-related traumatic fatalities and occupational disease fatality claims in the province.

To address the sector’s high fatality and injury rate, the MOL released its Construction Health and Safety Action Plan in May of this year. The first recommendation in that plan is to create a culture and climate of safety within construction to promote the importance of OHS.

Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar, Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training in Silver Spring, Maryland, is an expert in the safety culture and climate of construction workplaces. Her extensive research in the U.S. construction sector has culminated in practical tools to improve safety outcomes through improved safety culture, climate and leadership.

What can we learn here in Ontario from this research? Come find out at this year’s annual Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). Dr. Goldenhar, this year’s invited speaker, will talk about the research that led her team to develop, first, a workbook to help strengthen jobsite safety climate by improving performance in eight areas identified as leading indicators of health and safety outcomes and, more recently an online tool that assesses a workplace’s safety climate maturity. Dr. Goldenhar will also share preliminary evaluation findings of a program that she and her team developed to improve jobsite supervisory leadership—one of the eight safety climate leading indicators identified as critical by construction stakeholders.

Join us at 5.00 p.m. on November 1 at the Design Centre in downtown Toronto for an evening of learning and discussion as Dr. Goldenhar explores the exciting prospect of improving outcomes in high-hazard industries such as construction by improving safety climate and safety leadership. You won’t want to miss this annual lecture, one of the most important networking events of the year in Ontario for policy-makers, researchers, employers, workplace representatives and other stakeholders in the field of work injury and disability prevention.

About the recipient

For the past five years, Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar has been the Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Evaluation in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is currently the lead investigator at CPWR on a project creating leadership training for frontline supervisors, called Foundations for Safety Leadership (FSL). She is also the lead on CPWR’s safety climate initiative, which has resulted in Worksheets and Rating Tool to Help You Strengthen Jobsite Safety Climate and the Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT), both designed to help construction worksites evaluate and strengthen their safety climates.

Before joining CPWR, Goldenhar received her PhD in public health from the University of Michigan and began her career in occupational health and safety as a research psychologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, she focused her research on a variety of construction-related issues, including tradeswomen’s safety and health concerns, worker perceptions of the ideal amount of overtime, and more. She also served as NIOSH’s construction coordinator and leader of the Intervention Effectiveness Group. In 2005, after having left NIOSH in 2001, she was invited to be a member of the National Academy of Science’s review of NIOSH’s construction program. 

Goldenhar has published over 65 peer-reviewed publications, published numerous articles in trade magazines, and written book chapters and manuals.  She has presented her work at many national and international academic and construction-specific conferences.

About the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

Dr. Alf Nachemson was a distinguished orthopaedic surgeon and researcher from Sweden, a founding member of the Institute for Work & Health’s Scientific Advisory Committee and co-editor of the Institute-based Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group from 1995 to 2002.

The annual Alf Nachemson Lecture was established by the Institute in 2002 to honour Dr. Nachemson’s significant contribution to the use of research evidence in clinical decision-making. Dr. Nachemson passed away in 2006, and the lecture was renamed the Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture.

The lectureship is awarded to a prominent national or international individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to:

  • causes or management of work-related musculoskeletal pain
  • evidence-based practice in the prevention of work-related injury, illness or disability
  • emerging challenges in the interface between work and health
  • the role of evidence in policy-making.

Past Nachemson presentations

2016: Wolfgang Zimmermann, founder and executive director of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), was celebrated for his contributions to improving workplace practices surrounding the (re)integration of people with disabilities. Three people talked about the impact of Zimmermann's work in their own organizations: Andrew King, former national leader for health, safety and environment at United Steelworkers in Canada; Joachim Breuer, director general of German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV); and the Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, PC, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet in Ottawa. Zimmermann then followed with a discussion of the challenges that still lie ahead. Watch the videos of the four presentations on the IWH You Tube Channel.

2015: Judy Geary was a member of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) executive team that led significant reforms to strengthen case management and vocational rehabilitation services for workers disabled by a work-related injury or illness. In her lecture, Using research evidence to help prevent work disability in Ontario, Geary outlined the lessons learned in integrating research evidence in the reform of valued public services.Listen to the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio).

2014: Dr. Paul Schulte, long-time director of the Education and Information Division at the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), shared his perspective on moving research into practice. In his lecture titled, Assessing the impact of NIOSH resarch on worker health protection (2.6 MB, PDF), Schulte offered lessons learned about how best to ensure that research does, indeed, have an effect on worker health protection. Watch the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio).

2013: Dr. Mieke Koehoorn shared examples of the contribution of research to informing regulatory and compensation policy in worker health protection in British Columbia through the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety in her presentation titled Research informing policy: How to make an impact (845 KB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast of the full lecture (slides with audio). Watch videos of Dr. Koehoorn summarizing the main points of her lecture: On a unique research-policy partnershipOn the impact of research on policy and On the challenges of a research-policy relationship.

2012: Dr. Michael Silverstein offered his views on how we might modernize our regulatory standards and practices to keep pace with the changing world of work in his presentation titled Thirty years after OHSA: Keeping pace with the changing world of work (1.8 MB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast (slides with audio).

2011: Dr. Robert T. Reville talked about Research informing public policy: Workers' compensation in California (353 KB, PDF). Listen to/view the slidecast (slides with audio).

2010: Dr. Terrence Sullivan talked about Improving quality and performance in health services: Reflections from Cancer Care Ontario (2.4 MB). Watch an interview with Dr. Sullivan prior to the 2010 lecture.

2009: Dr. Joan Eakin talked about No small matter: Unpacking the problem of health and safety in small workplaces (35 KB).>

2008: Dr. Thomas Wickizer talked about Quality improvement in health-care services for injured workers (257 KB).

2007: David Stuewe discussed Safety climate: the role of leadership in enhancing workplace safety (312 KB).

2006: Dr. Barbara Silverstein spoke on Preventing the burden of workplace musculoskeletal disorders: What do we know about what works? (470 KB).

2005: Dr. Glenn Pransky delivered his remarks on Reducing disability and improving return to work: Where do we go from here? (275 KB).>

2004: Dr. Graham Lowe discussed Healthy work environments: Canada's next big idea. (537 KB).

2003: Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, in the inaugural Nachemson lecture, delivered his talk on Future prospects for evidence-based practice: Getting closer to the destination. (194 KB)