Laboratories

​The Institute's scope of research extends from biomechanics to psychology and from field studies to laboratory simulation. At any given time, approximately 60 research projects are underway. The state-of-the-art facilities enable Research Institute scientists to continually expand the boundaries of safety and health knowledge. Our research laboratories include:
​Biomechanics
Examines the mechanics of human movement, with an emphasis on forces and torques applied to or generated by various parts of the body. 
  • Focus is on workplace and built environment.
  • Research includes the study of both physical and behavioral factors.
​Cognitive Ergonomics
Investigates accidents and injuries that result from failures of cognitive processing (i.e. attention, perception, memory and language).
  • Focus is on risk perceptions and communications.
  • Research also explores behavioral and cognitive factors in the areas of transportation and biomechanics.
​Computer Work Systems
Investigates the effects of computer work and ergonomic interventions on discomfort/pain, injuries and performance.
  • Focus is on workplace design, technology, job demands and work organization.
  • Multi-disciplinary approach includes behavioral and organizational safety as well as physical ergonomics.
Disability
Research on return to work and recovery after injury or illness to find ways to improve outcomes.
  • Focus is on disability management, functional recovery and return to work.
  • Research examines existing information and new data collected in clinical, laboratory, community and workplace settings.
Driving Human Factors
Examines how driver-vehicle interactions contribute to motor vehicle crashes.
  • Focuses on known risk factors for crashes, such as distraction and fatigue, as well as the use of telematics and automation to reduce risk.
  • Uses a state-of-the-art, fixed-base driving simulator and an outdoor closed-loop test track to study human behaviors.
Epidemiology
Explores the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of injuries occurring at home, at work, in the community and on the road to understand and reduce injuries and their consequences.
  • Considers individual, environmental, organizational and societal factors.
  • Research conducted in communities, workplaces, clinics and hospitals or using population data.
Movement Science
Studies a range of static and dynamic human movement, such as seated postures, shoulder tasks and walking.
  • Integrates biomechanics, physiology, motor behavior and neuroscience.
  • Findings are used to develop safety tools and recommendations, to advance predictive models and to better understand injury causes and reduction.
Organizational Safety
Examines the combined impact of social, organizational and technical factors on risk using data collected from real workers, in real settings.
  • Focus is on human systems integration.
  • Researchers analyze data collected in the field to assess how various components of organizational systems interact to create safe or unsafe conditions.
Physiology
Studies work tasks to determine how physiological responses, such as metabolic demands, perceived exertion and muscle activity relate to injury risk.
  • Manual materials handling is a primary area of concern.
  • Findings are used to better understand safe loading limits to reduce risk exposure.
Tribology
Examines the interaction of footwear and floor surfaces under various conditions.
  • Focus is on built environment and workplace.
  • Research integrates with biomechanics, epidemiology and behavioral sciences to better understand the potential causes of slips, trips and falls.