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CROSH Mobile Lab Opening - Canada’s first mobile laboratory dedicated to the prevention of occupational illness and injury, and Driving Prevention through Research

On June 28th, the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) revealed Canada’s first mobile laboratory dedicated to the prevention of occupational illness and injury, and Driving Prevention through Research.

Mobile-CROSH, (M-CROSH) is a custom designed, 40-foot vehicle outfitted with innovative, portable research equipment to support research in fatigue mitigation, mobile equipment accident prevention, vibration-induced injury prevention, heat stress prevention, sleep hygiene to improve sleep quality and quantity, and evaluation of intervention programs. The interior lab space is designated to support field research in northern, rural and remote communities and includes clinical space, training and meeting spaces. The M-CROSH facility has been made possible through financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL). Additional contributions from the Goodman School of Mines (GSM), Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) and Workplace Safety North (WSN) will help support the operation of M-CROSH in the upcoming year, including a multi-city tour and strategic outreach, planned for the fall of 2017. 

The CROSH research team is comprised of a three-pillar model with research focusing on: Human Factors and Ergonomics; Occupational Health and Wellness; and Occupational Physiology and the Environment. CROSH was established in response to the demonstrated need to bring together industry members, workplace associations, labour groups, government organizations and researchers. They aim to address topics that are critically important to the occupational health and safety challenges facing northern Ontario industries. CROSH is guided by a 15-member Advisory Board with labour and management representatives from mining, forestry, pulp and paper, and healthcare industries. Membership also includes representatives from the provincial safe workplace associations, and Ministry of Labour.  As a result, the CROSH research team has built a reputation of being able to complete high-quality field research necessary to implement practical and appropriate interventions for industry. By connecting researchers with workers in rural and remote workplaces, M-CROSH has the ability to revolutionize the manner in which OHS research is conducted and delivered.

At Laurentian University, the Goodman School of Mines has publically endorsed the Partners in Prevention axiom by helping initiate and foster relationships from the lab to the field, supporting our Field to Lab to Field research mandate. Furthermore, CROSH has been able to develop and launch a cohesive brand with support from Laurentian’s Marketing department. This brand is evident on the newly designed M-CROSH Laboratory, and CROSH hopes that this  will be an integral component in providing quality OHS research facilities to better support the unique needs of a Northern Community. The Purchasing department aided in writing the RFQ and helped with design elements that are essential in building project report meetings to make sure MCROSH was completed on target. Facilities Services ensured that M-CROSH has a designated space on campus when not in use, and while it was being prepared for the launch. 

The research group at CROSH represents a high standard of Occupational Health and Safety research excellence with the capacity to examine topics in OHS from a variety of scientific lenses. The team is comprised of experts from Human Kinetics, Psychology, Math and Computer Science, Rural and Northern Health, Human Development, Geography and Geology, Engineering, Nursing and Sociology. Working collaboratively, their applied research will be used in the Northern setting so that the research team can reach communities whom otherwise would not benefit from the services offered through M-CROSH.

Story by: Emily Jago (Graduate Student, CROSH)