United Steelworkers commits $225,000 to occupational health and safety research at Laurentian University

Funds to support research relevant to Northern Ontario

JUNE 28, 2019 – Laurentian University interim President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Pierre Zundel and United Steelworkers President (USW), Leo Gerard announced that the United Steelworkers are committing a total of $225,000 in research funding over the next three years to Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH).

“It is important that USW support research that solves workplace problems and improves the safety of all workers, including those in Northern Ontario; we are proud of our continued support of CROSH’s efforts,” said Leo Gerard.

Over the last 8 years, the United Steelworkers have been key supporters in the development of CROSH; including previous commitments of $50,000 to obtain a Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety, $50,000 in endowed scholarships for students, and $60,000 towards the operation of CROSH’s Mobile Laboratory, for a total investment of $385,000.  The funds committed for the next three years will continue to support CROSH’s efforts to engage with northern workplaces, prioritizing their research needs as well as provide support to train students in-the-field.

Dr. Zundel stated that “CROSH’s efforts in the occupational health and safety field in the North have been ground breaking and would not be possible without the continued support of partners like the USW.”

As the only occupational health and safety research centre located in northern Ontario, CROSH envisions a team-approach to solving critical and relevant workplace challenges, by including workers, workplaces, communities, government and safe work associations in a field approach to research. Specifically CROSH emphasizes a field-to-lab-to-field approach where researchers engage face-to-face with communities and industries to understand critical workplace problems they are dealing with.  CROSH researchers conduct field measures to understand the problem, develop evidenced-based solutions in the lab and then go back to the workplace to test the solutions in the field.  CROSH has launched a Mobile research lab (M-CROSH) that allows students and researchers to travel to remote communities and provide on-site facilities while in the field. CROSH has also built a Workplace Simulator Lab that allows researchers to replicate workplace conditions in a controlled environment to test solutions. 

“The funds announced today will strengthen CROSH’s ability to carry out research and reach evidenced based solutions that are relevant to communities and industries in the north; communities who have traditionally been unable to participate in research, due to their geographic isolation. USW’s past and continued support of CROSH has a significant impact on CROSH’s success, in particular, it has helped students develop the skills they need to be the future occupational safety and health leaders,” says CROSH Director, Sandra Dorman.