APRIL 29, 2016 – The Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) at Laurentian University today celebrates the launch of two ground-breaking new initiatives, thanks to research awards that total more than $1.2M in new funding.
CROSH has been awarded $550,000 toward purchasing and equipping a Mobile Laboratory, a 32-ft custom-built trailer that will support ongoing research in occupational safety and health. The mobile lab, or M-CROSH, will bring researchers to communities and workers who are typically excluded from occupational research. M-CROSH and its portable equipment will enable field research in numerous areas, including musculo-skeletal disorders, mobile equipment ergonomics, vibration, air quality, fatigue management, and mental health.
“With this mobile lab, workers across the north will be able to contribute directly to important research in occupational health and safety,” said Leo Gerard, International President, USW and Chair of the CROSH Advisory Board. “This innovative approach brings the research facility right to the workers, in their communities and on their jobsites, and gives them the opportunity to play an active role in improving workplaces.”
CROSH has also received close to $200,000 toward the construction of its Workplace Simulator, which will allow researchers to replicate the environment and conditions of almost any northern Ontario workplace. The simulator, W-SIM, integrates a robotic motion platform to simulate vibration, an environmental chamber that controls temperature and humidity, and a virtual reality eye-tracker to simulate a worker’s surroundings.
Both the Workplace Simulator and the Mobile Laboratory are unique pieces of infrastructure, believed to be the first of their kind anywhere in Canada.
“These new tools will truly solidify our position in the forefront of research in occupational safety and health,” said CROSH Research Chair, Dr. Tammy Eger. “With these investments, along with the funds dedicated to supporting and expanding our research capacity, we will be able to address critical issues in health and safety in Ontario workplaces.”
Funders of the latest CROSH initiatives include
- Ontario Ministry of Labour, $500,000 (M-CROSH) and $492,000 (Research Capacity grant)
- Canada Foundation for Innovation $143,000 (W-SIM)
- Goodman School of Mines $50,000 (M-CROSH) and $50,000 (W-SIM)
“We congratulate CROSH and we gratefully acknowledge the funders whose support has been so crucial to our ambitious research program,” said Dr. Rui Wang, Vice-President Research at Laurentian University. “These investments demonstrate a high degree of confidence in CROSH and in Laurentian University in its mandate to lead the field in Occupational Safety and Health.”