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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

9277233 - Small Business Interventions (pallet)

Start Date: 3/1/2001
End Date: 9/30/2009

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Robert Malkin
Phone: 513-533-8375
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: EID
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed


Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

The goal of this project is to determine whether receipt of a NIOSH informational manual results in the progression of the stage of change of the recipient, as described in the transtheoretical model (TTM) of Prochaska and DiClemente (1984). We will mail a NIOSH informational document composed of a specially tailored manual and a flip-chart of posters to a random sample of 90 pallet manufacturers and use questionnaires administered over the telephone to:

• Determine the baseline and follow-up stage of the owner/manager regarding OSH actions using the TTM.

• Compare the degree of progression through the stages of change associated with the receipt of NIOSH informational materials, as compared to a control group.

• Assess the applicability of the TTM in occupational safety and health (OSH) studies.


This project will determine whether receipt of a NIOSH informational manual targeted to the specific needs and concerns of the audience results in a progression along the stage of change of a group of pallet manufacturers, as described in the transtheoretical model (TTM) of Prochaska and DiClemente (1984). These stages are defined as follows: 1) pre-contemplation-people are unaware of problems and are not thinking seriously about changing within the next 6 months 2) contemplation-the stage where people become aware that a problem exists and intend to take action within the next 6 months 3) preparation-intending to take action in the next 30 days 4) action-people change their overt behavior and made changes less than 6 months ago and 5) maintenance-people continue the gains obtained during the action stage. The TTM has been used in the treatment of drug addiction, alcoholism, diet and weight gain but has rarely been applied to occupational health and safety. The hypothesis is that the receipt of the specially constructed informational manual and a flip-chart of posters by the pallet manufacturing business owner/manager will motivate him/her to advance their present stage of change more than members of a control group, who did not receive the materials. Both the treatment group and the control group will be composed of either owners or managers of a pallet manufacturing company, and not of workers. Each member of the treatment group will receive an introductory questionnaire over the telephone and then receive the NIOSH informational material. They will then be interviewed 5 months later to determine if their stage of change has progressed. We are especially interested in tracking actions taken by decision makers to improve OSH at their facility. We will also query the control group.


The objective of this project is to improve occupational safety and health by developing an educational manual for pallet manufacturing company owners/managers that addresses deficiencies in occupational safety and health (OSH) at pallet manufacturing companies. The use of this manual will make the owner more aware of OSH and result in their progressing along the transtheoretical model of change and more likely to initiate changes in their workplace.

Mission Relevance

This project will determine if receipt of a NIOSH informational manual targeted to the specific needs of the industry results in a progression along the stage of change model of Prochaska and DiClemente. The informational manual will provide the owners/managers with an overview of occupational safety and health (OSH) hazards in the wood pallet manufacturing industry and offer suggestions to control those hazards.

This project relates to the NORA goals of the manufacturing sector which is to reduce adverse health outcomes by better understanding occupational risk and protective factors in, and developing appropriate interventions for, the manufacturing sector. The manual will have chapters about saws (respiratory disease), ergonomics (MSDs), traumatic injuries (forklifts) and hearing loss (nail guns). NIOSH researchers will enroll approximately 180 companies in the study. Ninety will receive the manual and 90 will serve as the control who will not receive the manual. Each group will be given a survey at their enrollment in the study and five months later to see if there is any movement on the stage of change continuum.

Sector: Manufacturing –SG8. Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities within small businesses (less than 100 employees) and specific subsectors within the manufacturing sector.

a. Interim goal #1: Respiratory disease

b. Interim goal #2: MSD

c. Interim goal #3: Traumatic injuries

d. Interim goal #4: Hearing loss

Cross Sector: Communication and Information dissemination - CSG2: Strengthen the development, application and evaluation of communication science and marketing strategies to maximize the effectiveness of moving research to practice.

IG2.1: Conduct a review of available literature concerning the application of communication theory to enhance successful occupational safety and health interventions.

Performance Measure: Publish the results of the review and utilize information to incorporate theory based approaches to r2p program designs. Link the project with Institute evaluation efforts. Increase the use of strategic communications methods by all programs in the Institute's portfolio in fulfillment of their own strategic goals.

IG2.2: Develop partner data-bases and the use of Creative Briefs as a marketing tool to assist researchers in designing and implementing their r2p activities. Work with 4-5 Portfolio Areas to evaluate the effectiveness of the data base and Briefs

Performance Measure: Document the increased effective use of specific tools and innovative communication methods by Institute programs in pursuit of their own specific goals.

Cross Sector: Musculoskeletal Disorders Prevention - SG4 (Intervention): Prevention and reduction of musculoskeletal disorders and related consequences

IG4.1 (Controls): Industry and job-specific engineering solutions, administrative practices, training, personal protective equipment, and medical management for preventing MSDs

IG4.2 (Effectiveness): Proven methods for measuring the impact and cost-effectiveness of interventions for preventing or reducing MSDs

IG4.3 (Implementation): Widespread application of proven interventions for preventing or reducing MSDs

Emphasis Area: Small Business Assistance and Outreach - SG2: Interact with each NIOSH sector program to identify and address high risk issues affecting small businesses and coordinate with appropriate external stakeholders to address those issues in a manner appropriate to small business needs.

IG2.1: Establish a small business liaison in each sector council.

IG2.2: Establish partnerships with businesses, manufacturers, suppliers, trade groups and other appropriate entities to plan and implement intervention programs targeting small businesses.