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Natalie V. Schwatka, PhD AEP

Assistant Professor

Natalie Schwatka

Dr. Natalie Schwatka’s research uses multiple sources of health data to conduct surveillance, predictive modeling, and intervention evaluation. Dr. Schwatka’s research in graduate school sought to initially understand the impact of the aging workforce on injury in the construction industry using workers’ compensation data, a lagging indicator of safety and health. She transitioned to understanding the role of leading indicators, such as safety climate, to proactively assess injury risk. Her dissertation work focused on training construction foremen to be safety leaders as a means of improving job site safety climate. At the Center for Health, Work & Environment, she continues to work in the field of safety leadership as a co-investigator on a Center for Construction Research and Training grant to develop and evaluate an OSHA 30-hour safety leadership module. She is also involved with several Total Worker Health initiatives. This includes the evaluation of the value on investment of a workers’ compensation insurer-driven worksite wellness program, evaluation of a Total Worker Health intervention for small businesses, and the development of Total Worker Health leadership training for small business leaders. Dr. Schwatka is an assistant professor within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health where she teaches an occupational safety and ergonomics course for master’s of public health students and occupational medicine residents. She is also the associate director of the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center occupational ergonomics and safety program.

Research Interests
  • Safety and health culture/climate
  • Safety and health leadership
  • Workers' compensation
  • Total Worker Health
  • Occupational health and safety surveillance

Key Publications

Jinnett, K., Schwatka, N., Tenney, L., Brockbank, C. A. V. S., & Newman, L. S. (2017). Chronic Conditions, Workplace Safety, And Job Demands Contribute To Absenteeism And Job Performance. Health Affairs, 36(2), 237–244. h

Schwatka, N. V., Atherly, A., Dally, M. J., Fang, H., vS Brockbank, C., Tenney, L., et al. (2017). Health risk factors as predictors of workers’ compensation claim occurrence and cost. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 74(1), 14–23.

Schwatka, N. V., Hecker, S., & Goldenhar, L. M. (2016). Defining and Measuring Safety Climate: A Review of the Construction Industry Literature. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 60(5), 537–550.

Hoffmeister, K., Gibbons, A., Schwatka, N., & Rosecrance, J. (2015). Ergonomics Climate Assessment: A measure of operational performance and employee well-being. Appl Ergon, 50(C), 160–169.

Schwatka, N. V., Butler, L. M., & Rosecrance, J. R. (2012). An aging workforce and injury in the construction industry. Epi Rev, 34(1), 156–167.

Courses Taught

EHOH 6629/6636 Introduction to Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

EHOH 6634 Spectrums of Professions Protecting and Promoting Worker Health


PhD Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 2014

MS Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 2011

BA Psychology, University of Portland, Portland, OR 2008

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher of the Year, 2011, Colorado State University, Environmental Health Sciences

Colorado School of Public Health

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