Published: May 31, 2019

Hallowell with several members of the CSRA board of advisors.Hallowell (third from left) with several members of the CSRA advisory board.

New research alliance aims to help prevent serious injuries and fatalities in construction.

More fatalities occur in construction than in any other single-service industry, resulting from incidents like falls and electrocutions. In fact, approximately 1,000 workers are fatally injured each year, a rate that has remained stagnant for over a decade.

A new research alliance among leading construction companies and the University of Colorado Boulder has set out to prevent serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry by proposing and testing new safety innovations.

“By bringing together academics and industry professionals, we hope to create transformative research that helps break through that plateau,” said Matthew Hallowell, professor of construction engineering and management at CU Boulder and director of the new Construction Safety Research Alliance.

The first two projects the industry-funded collaboration will tackle starting in August are improving safety prediction analytics and developing methods to test the quality of key safety activities like pre-job meetings and safety audits. Teams of researchers and construction professionals will work together to understand industry needs, conduct field-based research in real-world settings, collect and analyze data, and share results.

So far, 10 companies – including Chevron, Graham Construction and the Otis Elevator Company – have joined the endeavor.

“There are too many opinion-based approaches in construction safety,” said Brad MacLean, senior vice president at Wolfcreek and chairman of the CSRA board of advisors. “The promise of the CSRA is to sweep away these opinions with evidence-based approaches that are proven effective. The people we’re all working to keep safe deserve no less.”

Join the Construction Safety Research Alliance
Companies interested in joining the research alliance can contact Director Matthew Hallowell at matthew.hallowell@colorado.edu or 303-704-8523.