About the Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies

In 2013, NIOSH established the Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies (CWCS) to integrate NIOSH’s traditional research efforts aimed at preventing worker injury and illness with workers’ compensation efforts aimed at providing medical care and wage benefits to workers with a work-connected injury or illness.

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act because “personal injuries and illnesses arising out of work situations impose a substantial burden upon, and are a hindrance to, interstate commerce in terms of lost production, wage loss, medical expenses, and disability compensation payments.” In establishing the CWCS, NIOSH believes that increased efforts need to be made by the public and private sectors to better integrate the injury prevention and injury compensation research and practice communities to the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the American worker and the economic vitality of the Nation.

In addition to sponsoring educational conferences in 2009 and 2012 on the use of workers’ compensation data for worker safety and health, the NIOSH CWCS is interested in conducting collaborative research with commercial insurers, self-insured entities, academic investigators, state and federal workers’ compensation administrators, and with organizations such as the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)external icon Currently, CWCS researchers are conducting integrated prevention and compensation research across a wide range of industry sectors, including:

  • Construction
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Manufacturing
  • Public safety
  • Services
  • Mining
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Wholesale and retail trade

CWCS Staff Profiles

Steve Wurzelbacher

Steve Wurzelbacher is the Manager of the CWCS at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In this role, he coordinates workers’ compensation claim analyses, exposure assessment research, safety/health intervention effectiveness studies, and health services research with public and private sector partners. Steve has worked in the safety and health field since 1998, as both a researcher at NIOSH and as a risk control practitioner for a workers’ compensation insurer. Steve earned a PhD in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics from the University of Cincinnati, a BS in Chemical Science from Xavier University, is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), and holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation.

Email: srw3@cdc.gov

Steve Wurzelbacher
Alysha R. Meyers

Alysha R. Meyers

Alysha R. Meyers, PhD, CPE is an epidemiologist and ergonomist dedicated to promoting musculoskeletal health. Since 2010, Dr. Meyers has been an epidemiologist in the NIOSH Division of Field Studies and Engineering (DFSE). Dr. Meyers has been working with the CWCS since its inception. Her main research interests are using workers’ compensation data for occupational safety and health, preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and Total Worker Health®.  Alysha earned a PhD in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa and is a CPE.

Email: itm4@cdc.gov

Chih-Yu Tseng

 Chih-Yu has worked for NIOSH since 1998 and has been involved in CWCS projects since 2013. She became a full-time member of the CWCS team in 2015. She earned her Master of Science degree in Statistics from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining NIOSH, she was a Research Data Analyst at the University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division. As an IT Specialist, Chih-Yu provides programming, database and data visualization support to research projects. She enjoys working with the team members of CWCS and hopes to continually learn new computer skills in order to fulfill the needs of the growing center.

Email: cft8@cdc.gov

Steve Wurzelbacher
Steve Bertke

Steve Bertke

Steve Bertke is a Mathematical Statistician involved in planning and providing advice for any statistical analysis methods used in the various studies associated with the NIOSH CWCS. Steve has worked since 2009 in the safety and health field as a statistician at NIOSH. Steve earned a PhD in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from the University of Cincinnati.

Email: inh4@cdc.gov

Nhut Nguyen

Nhut Nguyen is a Data Visualization Analyst at NIOSH. Her primary role is to improve and promote data interpretation through the development of data visualization dashboards for CWCS. Prior to joining NIOSH, Nhut worked as a Public Health Associate stationed at the Tennessee Department of Health working on emergency preparedness. Nhut earned her MPH at Mercer University and a BA in Public Health and Classical Languages and Literature at Agnes Scott College.

Email: odo2@cdc.gov

Nhut Nguyen
Brian Chin Headshot

Brian Chin

Brian Chin is an Occupational Health Services Fellow in the NIOSH CWCS. His primary role is to improve work disability and return-to-work efforts by examining access, quality, and cost of health care services for injured workers. Brian earned his MS in Industrial Hygiene at the University of Illinois and is currently a PhD candidate in Health Services at the University of Washington, where he is investigating access, utilization, and outcomes of physical therapy services among injured workers with back pain.

Email: olj9@cdc.gov

Edward F. Krieg, Jr.

Edward F. Krieg, Jr. is a statistician who has been at NIOSH since 1987. He joined the Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies in 2019. Prior to that he was in the Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science and the Division of Applied Research and Technology. Edward has an MS and PhD in Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Tara Schrader

Tara Schrader, RHIA is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow that started at NIOSH in March 2021 conducting database work for the Wildland Firefighter Exposure and Health Effects Study. She is currently involved in various CWCS claims projects and provides support for ICD-10 and ICD-9 diagnostic coding. She earned her bachelor’s in Health Information Management and Systems from The Ohio State University in 2020 and is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA).

Email: qxf3@cdc.gov

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