Cora Roelofs

Cora Roelofs, Sc.D.

Research Professor

Francis College of Engineering
Biomedical Engineering, Climate Change Initiative

Research Interests

Preventing illness and injuries in working populations; opioids; vulnerable worker populations; asbestos; construction and nail salons; climate change and heat


  • Postdoc: Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion, (2003), Harvard University/DFCI Center for Community-based Research
  • Sc.D: Work Environment, (2001), University of Massachusetts Lowell
    • Supporting Area: Industrial Hygiene and Cleaner Production
    • Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Losing Controls: The case for a preventive industrial hygiene"
  • MS: Environmental and Occupational Health Science, (1996), Hunter College/City University of New York
    • Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Does Health Pay? Economic Issues Related to the Lead in Construction Standard"


My career has been anchored by a mission to do research that could help protect workers and the environment. My Masters thesis on economic and policy issues related to protecting construction workers from lead exposure began an on-going effort to understand and influence policy related to worker protection. My doctoral work focused on synergistic protection of workers and the environment through toxics use reduction. Following a post-doc to expand my capacity to integrate occupational health and other areas of public health, I returned to UML to pursue funded research in occupational health and safety prevention science related to nail salons, immigrant and refugee workers, training strategies, construction, and, most recently, opioids and work injury and employer preparedness for crises.

Selected Publications

  • Roelofs, C. (2022) Total Worker Health Employer Preparedness: A Proposed Model and Survey of Human Resource Managers’ Perceptions. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness doi:10.1017/dmp.2021.364
  • Roelofs, C. (2021) Results of an Opioid Hazard Awareness Training Intervention for Stone, Sand, and Gravel Miners. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
  • Rodman C, Roelofs C., Rinehart R, et al. (2021) Preventing Opioid-Related Harms in the Construction Industry. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy DOI: 10.1177/10482911211008174.
  • Roelofs, C., Sugerman-Brozan, J., Kurowski, A., Russell, L., Punnett, L. (2021) Promoting Opioid Awareness Through a Union-Based Peer Training Model. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy.
  • Shaw, W.S., Roelofs, C., Punnett, L. (2020). Work Environment Factors and Prevention of Opioid-Related Deaths. American journal of public health,110(8) 1235-1241.
  • Harrichandra, A., Blair, C., Roelofs, C., and Pavilonis, B. (2020) Occupational Exposure and Ventilation Assessment in New York City Nail Salons. Ann Work Expo Health.
  • Seller, S, Roelofs, C, Shoemaker, PA, Nguyen, NN, and Nguyen, TD. 2019 Improving Boston Nail Salon Indoor Air Quality Through Local Public Health Regulation, 2007–2019. Am J Public Health. Dec;109(12):1711-1713. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305329
  • Levy, B.S., Roelofs, C. (2019). Impacts of Climate Change on Workers’ Health and Safety.
  • Roelofs, C. (2019). Opioids and Work: A Formative Research Assessment to Inform Educational Outreach. Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace
  • Hawkins, D., Roelofs, C., Laing, J., Davis, L. (2019). Opioid-related overdose deaths by industry and occupation-Massachusetts, 2011-2015. American journal of industrial medicine,62(10) 815-825.
  • Marín, L.S., Roelofs, C. (2018). Engaging Small Residential Construction Contractors in Community-Based Participatory Research to Promote Safety. Annals of work exposures and health,62(suppl_1) S72-S80.
  • Roelofs, C. (2018). Without Warning: Worker Deaths From Heat 2014-2016. New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS,28(2) 344-357.
  • Pavilonis, B., Roelofs, C., Blair, C. (2018). Assessing indoor air quality in New York City nail salons. Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene,15(5) 422-429.
  • Marin, L.S., Roelofs, C. (2017). Promoting construction supervisors’ safety-efficacy to improve safety climate: training intervention trial. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management,143(8) 04017037.
  • Roelofs, C. (2015). Latency attention deficit: Asbestos abatement workers need us to investigate. American journal of industrial medicine,58(12) 1231-4.
  • Marin, L.S., Cifuentes, M., Roelofs, C. (2015). Results of a community-based survey of construction safety climate for Hispanic workers. International journal of occupational and environmental health,21(3) 223-31.
  • Roelofs, C., Wegman, D. (2014). Workers: the climate canaries. (104:10 pp. 1799-801). American journal of public health
  • Roelofs, C., Kernan, G.J., Davis, L.K., Clapp, R.W., Hunt, P.R. (2013). Mesothelioma and employment in massachusetts: analysis of cancer registry data 1988-2003. American journal of industrial medicine,56(9) 985-92.
  • Roelofs, C., Do, T. (2012). Exposure assessment in nail salons: an indoor air approach. ISRN Public Health,2012.
  • Roelofs, C., Sprague-Martinez, L., Brunette, M., Azaroff, L. (2011). A qualitative investigation of Hispanic construction worker perspectives on factors impacting worksite safety and risk. Environmental health : a global access science source,10 84.
  • Roelofs, C., Shoemaker, P., Skogstrom, T., Acevedo, P., Kendrick, J., Nguyen, N. (2010). The Boston Safe Shops model: an integrated approach to community environmental and occupational health. American journal of public health,100 Suppl 1 S52-5.
  • Roelofs, C., Azaroff, L.S., Holcroft, C., Nguyen, H., Doan, T. (2008). Results from a community-based occupational health survey of Vietnamese-American nail salon workers. Journal of immigrant and minority health,10(4) 353-61.
  • Roelofs, C. (2007). Preventing Hazards at the Source. AIHA Press

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Total Worker Health® Employer Crisis Preparedness
    NIOSH/Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace
    2022-2024 Principal Investigator

  • Evaluation of the MA Department of Industrial Accidents Opioid Alternative Pathway Program
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program
    2020-2022 Principal Investigator

  • Opioid Hazard Awareness for Sand, Stone and Gravel Workers
    Alpha Foundation
    2019-2022 Principal Investigator

  • Worker Outreach on Injury Prevention and Opioids
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program
    2017-2019 Consultant Researcher

  • Human Resources Perspective on Employers’ Preparedness to Protect Total Worker Health in the Face of Disasters
    Center to Promote Health in the New England Workplace/University of Massachusetts Lowell
    2017-2018 Principal Investigator