Workers’ comp insurer MEMIC offers safety research grant, publications

Posted by Brianna Crandall — July 27, 2022 — The MEMIC Safety Research Center is now accepting applications for a grant of up to $30,000 to engage in research that makes a positive impact on workforce safety and health.

This is the second round of grants offered by the MEMIC Safety Research Center, created in 2021 by workers’ compensation insurer The MEMIC Group  to faciMEMIC logo - safety researchlitate understanding and prevention of occupational injury and illness in partnership with MEMIC staff, policyholders, and academia. Funding in the 2022 round is available to researchers from higher education institutions in the United States and its territories.

MEMIC Group President & CEO Michael Bourque said the program’s second year will add to beneficial workplace safety research begun with the Safety Research Center’s inaugural 2021 grant. Bourque remarked:

Our effort to partner with academia to bring best safety practices to industry is bearing fruit, so we are excited to continue the program and see it flourish. Applying for MEMIC Safety Research Center grants invites researchers to intensively examine workforce safety challenges in partnership with MEMIC. While MEMIC’s Loss Control and Safety team is already well versed — and relentless — in finding real-time solutions that reduce the frequency and severity of work-related injuries, we also know that there is so much to learn. We believe that research generated by the center will only enhance our offerings to our policyholders so that they can implement new best practices in workforce safety.

The MEMIC Safety Research Center made its first-ever award in 2021 to a faculty team at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Safety Sciences that is investigating ways to limit slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.

IUP researchers noted injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls were the second most common cause of workplace injury in 2020, accounting for 18.2 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses with an estimated direct cost of nearly $11 billion.

Dr. Luis F. Pieretti, manager of industrial hygiene at The MEMIC Group and architect of the MEMIC Safety Research Center, stated:

Engaging in research with Indiana University of Pennsylvania is showing us what’s possible when we extend the search for proactive solutions to academia, for the benefit of our policyholders. Now, in our second year, we look forward to keep expanding the current state of knowledge of occupational hazards and how we can prevent unsafe working conditions in every industry.

Dr. Wanda Minnick, lead researcher for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania team, explained:

Funding from the MEMIC grant in 2021 is enabling us to examine how new wearable technology can help to better understand the biomechanics of walking on different surface types in complex working environments, such as construction. This type of applied research is fundamental in developing interventions to minimize the likelihood of slips, trips and falls. The MEMIC funding is essential to IUP Safety Sciences as we strive to keep new technology at the forefront of our research, and it is giving us the opportunity to understand how new technology can be used to address a historically problematic hazard on construction sites.

The MEMIC Safety Research Center was launched as part of The MEMIC Group’s mission to “make workers’ comp work better” with compassion, trusted partnerships, and relentless commitment to workforce safety. By working closely with policyholders over the past 28 years, MEMIC’s team of safety experts has improved its understanding and reduced the probability of occupational injuries and illnesses by directly observing, collecting, and analyzing data to identify the root causes of injuries and provide practical preventive solutions.

Proposals for 2022 MEMIC Safety Research Center grants must be submitted online via the proposal submission form by October 14. Grants will be awarded in November.

Funded projects must be completed within two years, and results disseminated through peer-reviewed journals or via published thesis or dissertation. Updates on research progress must be provided on a semi-annual basis. Proposals must clearly indicate short- and long-term impacts to workforce safety and health.

For more information about the MEMIC Safety Research Center and a full description of application requirements, visit the Center’s website.

To view a list of peer-reviewed publications authored or co-authored by members of MEMIC’s Loss Control Department, see MEMIC’s Published Work webpage.