Dr. Benjamin C. Amick III has long been attracted to research. He became focused on issues of health and safety as an undergraduate, when he developed a specific interest in work stress as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
I thought it was an important and understudied area, he says.
Today, Amick is chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University in Miami. He took on this position in September 2013 after 15 years as a professor of behavioural sciences and epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health.
Amick specializes in integrating organizational sciences, ergonomics and epidemiology to understand the role of labour markets in health, illness and disease in society.
I’m interested in partnering with our prevention and policy partners to build labour markets that promote health and create a competitive advantage, he says.
In 2007, Amick was appointed scientific director of the Institute for Work & Health. An adjunct scientist with the organization since 1996, he was already familiar with the Institute’s research and its scientific staff.
I love Toronto, he says.
The people are friendly, and I now enjoy watching hockey. But I do miss the warm weather and the many wonderful public golf courses in Florida when I’m here.
From 2007 to 2013, Amick was a member of the executive team at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) in the role of scientific director. With his move to Miami in 2013, and new responsibilities as a department chair at Florida International University, he stepped down from his IWH executive position. He remains a senior scientist and a key member of the Institute’s research program.
He is currently investigating how organizations can change or improve their programs and policies to prevent injury and manage disability, especially through the development of leading indicators. He is also studying successful initiatives to improve health and safety from within organizations.
For Amick, the Institute has been the perfect place to conduct this research.
A big part of our research is creating products that people can use in practice, he explains.
Knowledge transfer, or the translation of research into practice, is something the Institute does better than anyone else.
Benchmarking leading organizational indicators for the prevention and management of injuries and illnesses
Validating a prevention system leading indicator
How leaders are using benchmarking information on occupational health and safety
Determinants of health and safety in Ontario's construction sector
Development of violence prevention tools in health care
The effectiveness of the Employee Participation in Change Program (EPIC) in the Ontario long-term care sector to reduce musculoskeletal injuries and slips, trips and falls
Return to work: An update of a systematic review
Robson LS, Stephenson CM, Schulte PA, Amick BC, Irvin EL, Eggerth DE et al. A systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational health and safety training. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2012: 38(3): 193-208
Sorensen G, Paul Landsbergis P, Hammer L, Amick B, Linnan L, Yancey A, Welch L, Goetzel R, Flannery K, Pratt C. Workshop working group on worksite chronic disease prevention, preventing chronic disease at the workplace: A workshop report and recommendations. American Journal of Public Health, 2011; doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.300075
Tang K, Macdermid JC, Amick BC, Beaton DE. The 11-item workplace organizational policies and practices questionnaire (OPP-11): Examination of its construct validity, factor structure, and predictive validity in injured workers with upper-limb disorders. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011; 54(11):834-846
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Amick BC, Irvin E. A systematic review of workplace ergonomic interventions with economic analyses. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2010; 20(2):220-234
Kennedy C, Amick B, Dennerlein J, Brewer S, Catli S, Williams R, Serra C, Gerr F, Irvin E, Mahood Q. Systematic review of the role of occupational health and safety interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms, signs, disorders, injuries, claims and lost time. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2009; 20(2):127-162