Emily Sparer

Research Associate

Department of Environmental Health

My research centers on the impact of environmental factors on health outcomes in various workplace settings. I focus on the intersection between the physical, organizational, and social environments in an effort to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of all people. Much of my work in relies on community-based approaches to intervention development and evaluation.

I am a Research Associate within the Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Healthy Buildings program.  I also work closely with the Center for Work, Health, and Wellbeing.

Currently, I help lead “Project Bridge”, a study examining the impact of the built environment on clinical trial outcomes. I also lead a project in collaboration with the Boston Fire Department that is examining the role of exposures at the fire station on cancer risk among firefighters (read more about the fire station work here and here).

Much of my past work focused on construction health and safety.  My doctoral dissertation involved the development, implementation, and evaluation of a safety communication and recognition program for commercial construction workers, called Building Safety for Everyone.  You can learn about the program here.


  1. Sparer EH, Boden LI, Sorensen G, Dennerlein JT, Stoddard A, Wagner GR, Nagler EM, Hashimoto DM, Hopcia K, Sabbath EL. The relationship between organizational policies and practices and work limitations among hospital patient care workers [2018]. American Journal of Industrial Medicine.  Online first. 
  2. Sabbath EL , Sparer EH, Boden LI, Wagner GR, Hashimoto DM, Hopcia K, Sorensen G. Preventive care utilization: Association with individual- and workgroup-level policy and practice perceptions [2018]. Preventive Medicine, 111: 235–240.
  3. Manjourides J, Sparer EH, Okechukwu CA, Dennerlein JT. The Effect of Workforce Mobility on Intervention Effectiveness Estimates [2018]. Annals of Work Exposures and Health. Online first.
  4. Sorensen G, Sparer EH, Williams JAR, Gundersen D, Boden LI, Dennnerlein JT, Hashimoto D, Katz JN, McLellan DL, Okechukwu CA, Pronk NP, Revette A, Wagner GR. Measuring Best Practices for Workplace Safety, Health and Wellbeing: The Workplace Integrated Safety and Health Assessment [2018]. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Online first.
  5. Epstein S, Sparer EH, Tran BN, Ruan QZ, Dennerlein JT, Singhal D, Lee BT. Prevalence of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Surgeons and Interventionalists: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Surgery. pp.e174947-e174947.
  6. Sparer EH, Prendergast DP, Apell JN, Bartzak MR, Wagner GR, MD, Adamkiewicz G, Hart JE, and Sorensen G. Assessment of Ambient Exposures Firefighters Encounter While at the Fire Station: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Oct;59(10):1017-1023. 
  7. Sparer EH and Dennerlein JT [2017]. Safety Communication & Recognition: From Research to Practice in Construction. Professional Safety, March 62(3): 30-31.
  8. Padula RS, Comper MLC, Sparer EH, Dennerlein JT [2017]. Job rotation designed to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and control risk in manufacturing industries: A systematic review, Appl. Ergon., 58(Jan): 386-397,
  9. Sparer EH, Catalano PJ, Herrick RF, Dennerlein JT [2016]. Improving safety climate through a communication and recognition program for construction: a mixed methods study. Scand J Work Environ Health, 42(4):329-337.
  10. Sparer EH, Okechukwu CA, Manjourides J, Katz JN, Herrick RF, Dennerlein JT [2015]. Length of time spent working on a commercial construction site and the relationship with musculoskeletal pain. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58(9): 964-973.
  11. Sparer EH, Herrick RF, Dennerlein JT [2015]. Development of a Safety Communication and Recognition Program for Construction. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, 25(1): 42-58.
  12. Zhang M, Sparer EH, Murphy LA, Dennerlein JT, Fang D, Katz JN, Caban-Martinez AJ [2015]. Development and Validation of a Fatigue Assessment Scale for New England Construction Workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58(2):220-8.
  13. Sparer EH, Murphy LA, Taylor KM, and Dennerlein JT [2013]. Correlation between Safety Climate and Contractor Safety Assessment Programs in Construction. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 56(12):1463-1472.
  14. Sparer EH and Dennerlein JT [2013]. Determining safety inspection thresholds for employee incentives programs on construction sites. Safety Science, 51(1): 77-84.
  15. Goldwasser M, Sparer EH, Dennerlein JT [2013] Testing a Better Recognition Tool. Occupational Health and Safety, 82(3).


Sc.D. (Environmental Health), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2015: Improving Health and Safety in Construction: The Intersection of Programs and Policies, Work Organization, and Safety Climate

Sc.M. (Environmental Health), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2011

B.A. (Environmental Science, magna cum laude), Barnard College, Columbia University, 2007


EH241: Occupational Safety and Injury Prevention

Curriculum Vitae


Contact information: emily.sparer@mail.harvard.edu