Sometimes you can learn the best ways to control workplace hazards from research. There's a good chance you already use research. When you collect information about a problem and turn that information into action to improve working conditions, that's research. Do you ever use an industry “best practice”? That's research, too, research that someone else conducted to solve a workplace problem similar to yours.

You don't need expensive equipment or trained experts to do your own research. Here's a simple method:

  1. Identify a safety or health problem.
  2. Find out as much as you can about the problem and possible solutions. Here are some ways to collect information:
  3. Compile and analyze the information you collected.
  4. Decide on action to take.
  5. Make the changes you decide on.
  6. Evaluate whether your changes resolved the problem and made the workplace safer or healthier for workers.

Research Projects and Resources

MORA, the Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA), promotes occupational safety and health research in Maine.

Research projects from the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards:

Statistics on work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths in Maine:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps statistics on workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts research on many workplace safety and health topics.

Does it Really Work? How to Evaluate Safety and Health Changes in the Workplace. NIOSH Publication No. 2004-135. Free from NIOSH 1-800-35-NIOSH.

Barefoot Research, A Workers' Manual for Organising on Work Security gives practical ideas for doing your own research. International Labour Office