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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver


Center for Health, Work & Environment


Study Finds Work-Related Injuries, Chronic Conditions, and Demanding Jobs Lower Productivity 
February 2017 —​A study published in Health Affairs by the Integrated Benefits Institute, our center, and Segue Consulting​ found employees with work-related injuries, chronic health conditions, and demanding jobs were significantly less productive, with roughly three times higher lost productivity costs compared to workers without those three indicators. 

First Study on Worker Health and Safety in the Cannabis Industry Shows Wide Variation in Training
February 2017 — In the first study to examine worker health and safety in the cannabis industry, lead researchers Kevin Walters, a Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) trainee, and Dr. Gwenith Fisher, the director of the MAP ERC occupational health psychology program, surveyed over 200 workers in the Colorado cannabis industry to understand worker demographics, awareness and presence of workplace health and safety issues, and the quality and quantity workplace health and safety training employees receive. 

Our Research Informs New Federal Standard to Protect Workers from Beryllium

January 2016 — Dr. Lee Newman, the director of our center and one of the world's leading experts on beryllium, explains the significance of a new federal standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect workers from beryllium in a Chicago Tribune article. Beryllium, a lightweight  metal used to manufacture modern wonders such as computers and satellites, can cause an incurable lung disease and other health issues in those exposed to its dust. OSHA relied on more than 100 papers authored by Dr. Newman and his colleagues to develop the new standard, reducing exposure levels by 10 times. 


2015–2016 Annual Report

December 2016  In the 2015–2016 academic year, we trained over 2,700 students and professionals, conducted health screenings for more than 1,900 former Department of Energy site workers, and advised and certified over 270 businesses through Health Links, just to name a few milestones. 

Read the 2015–2016 Annual Report.

Partnering with One of Central America’s Largest Sugar Producers to Improve Farm Worker Health​

November 2016  Our center and the Center for Global Health are partnering with Pantaleon, one of the largest sugar producers in Central America, to further understand the health risks of sugar cane workers and improve prevention efforts. With growing concerns about the impact of heat stress and climate on farm workers, researchers hope the findings of this investigation will help protect not only Pantaleon’s nearly 30,000 workers but potentially millions of workers worldwide.

Health Links™ Celebrates Colorado's Healthiest Workplaces

August 2016  Close to 200 representatives from local businesses, health departments, and chambers of commerce from across the state came together to celebrate businesses championing workplace health and safety at the third annual Celebrating Colorado’s Healthiest Places to Work event hosted by Health LinksAspen Valley Hospital, BOA Technology, the City of Fort Collins, Wealth by Design, and Children’s Hospital Colorado were honored with awards. 

Read the press release​.


  • June 2015–A study done through a Pilot Project grant by MAP ERC, CSU, and Colorado School of Public Health faculty and graduate students was published in the Applied Ergonomics journal. The study, Ergonomics Climate Assessment: A measure of operational performance and employee well-being found that workplaces emphasizing both employee well-being and productivity had the most benefits. Press Release.pdf See the full article here.
  • June 2015–Arizona has completed a report of their Occupational Health Indicators, from 2008-2012, funded with support from the NIOSH M​ountain and Plains Education and Research Center, Grant T42OH09229. They have also developed an occupational health page on their website.
  • March 2015–The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) featured an article in their Highlights 2014 issue by Dr. John Rosecrance, professor at CSU. The article, "Enhancing Safety through Leadership", features work from two former MAP ERC doctoral students and 2014 graduates, Krista Hoffmeister and Natalie Schwatka. Check out the link and head to page 15 to read more about the great things our faculty and students are doing out in the occupational health and safety field!



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