National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health grant opens up new avenues of research for UAB scientist

Ben McManus’ proposal to research the understudied relationship between resident well-being and work organization factors wins a distinguished NIOSH K01 grant.
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Brianna Hoge

Environmental headshot of Dr. Benjamin McManus, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology) standing in front of the Driving Simulator in the TRIP (Translational Research for Injury Prevention) Laboratory, 2020.Ben McManus, Ph.D. (Photography: Andrea Mabry)The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s assistant director of the Translational Research for Injury Prevention Laboratory is one of the few recipients of the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.

The three-year grant will help Ben McManus, Ph.D., in his study of fatigue, stress and work organization as risk factors for motor vehicle crashes during commutes and shifts of surgical residents.

“The K01 grant is unique in providing opportunities to expand my research skill set through specialized training activities over the next three years,” McManus said. “This award will support the research project as I work to help the well-being of health care workers and improve the safety of work design.”

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death, and a major contributor to crashes is driver fatigue. Finding a balance between resident well-being and the necessary training hours during residency has long been subject to debate, but received little research.

“This grant is of major importance both to my career development as well as to ultimately helping to improve safe and healthy work design and well-being in health care workers,” McManus said. “This grant will provide the additional training on the impact of workplace climate and organizational factors on workers’ psychological health and safety.”

The goal of the study is to characterize resident’s well-being and case load and translate finding interventions to shape future work settings.