Pia Markkanen

Pia Markkanen

Pia Markkanen, Work Environment

Research Professor
Kitson 200J

Research Interest

Working conditions among home care workers; work environment in the health care industry; occupational safety and health (OSH) policy; OSH among migrant workers; OSH the informal economy; total worker health; safety in the use of chemicals at work;  qualitative research methods

Educational Background

Sc.D., Work Environment Policy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2004

M.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, 1992


Pia Markkanen, Sc.D. is a research faculty in the Department of Work Environment. Currently, her research duties consist of (i) investigating hazardous exposures - with a special emphasis on home care workers’ working conditions and (ii) international OSH concerns related to the informal economy, health care industry, and OSH among migrant workers.  She has been a co-investigator on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - funded Safe Home Care Project, which investigates a wide range of occupational safety and health hazards and promising practices among home care aide occupations in Massachusetts, as well as for another NIOSH-funded  Project SHARRP (Safe Home Care and Risk Reduction for Providers) which evaluated sharps injury and other blood exposure risks among home health care nurses and home health aides.  In 2004, she earned doctor of science degree in work environment from the UMASS Lowell.  In 1992, she earned masters of science degree in chemical engineering from the Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland. 

Markkanen has over 21 years of professional OSH experience, including doctoral degree, international OSH experience at the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as OSH research and teaching experience in the United States.   Her international OSH work experience includes managing and implementing international development programs in collaboration with various governments, employers' organizations, workers' organizations, and non-government organizations.  Countries where she has worked comprise Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Switzerland, Thailand, and Viet Nam.  During 1993-1995, she worked in the ILO’s OSH Department, in Geneva, Switzerland. During 1995-2000, she was based in a Finland-funded/ILO-implemented technical cooperation project (ASIAOSH), in Bangkok, Thailand.  During 2000-2004, she carried out several international work assignments (e.g. in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Switzerland) -- these included consultancies to the ILO’s International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) in the areas of shoemaking, deep-sea fishing, and agriculture. In 2009, Baywood published her book entitled “Shoes, Glues and Homework: Dangerous Work in the Global Footwear Industry."

Research Interests and Collaborations