Research being conducted at Laurentian University will make it safer for workers to go underground, work in construction, operate heavy machinery and make office environments less stressful.
The Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health, or CROSH, has received $1.2 million in new funding to help make that happen. CROSH received more than $1 million to purchase and equip a mobile laboratory and conduct research, and almost $2,000 to construct a workplace simulator.
An announcement about the funding was made Friday at the Ben Avery Building at Laurentian. The mobile laboratory or M-CROSH will equip researchers to travel the North and enable research in areas such as musculoskeletal disorders, mobile equipment ergonomics, vibration, air quality, fatigue management and mental health.
The workplace simulator or W-SIM will replicate the environment and conditions of many workplaces in Northern Ontario. It will have a robotic motion platform to simulate vibration, a chamber that controls temperature and humidity, and a virtual reality eye-tracker to simulate a worker’s surroundings.
Both the mobile lab and the workplace simulator are unique and are likely the first of their kind in Canada.
United Steelworkers international president Leo Gerard said the idea for CROSH — a partnership among academia, industry and labour — arose in a breakfast conversation he had with Mark Cutifani, chief executive officer for mining giant Anglo American. Cutifani was then chief operating officer at the former Inco Ltd. (now Vale) when he and Gerard discussed the idea that would become CROSH. Gerard is chair of the board of CROSH.
They envisioned a research centre building on work already being done in Sudbury, pioneering new health and safety initiatives and sharing them with the world.
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