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Research Aimed at Helping Prevent Elderly Falls, Slips, Focus of ASSE Foundation’s New Liberty Mutual Research Fellows

Posted in , on Tue, Mar 13, 2012

DES PLAINES, IL (March 13, 2012) – The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Foundation today announced the recipients of the annual Liberty Mutual Research Fellowship program are Tzurei Chen, M.S., of Eugene, OR, and Andrew S. Merryweather, Ph.D., of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Both will focus their research on issues impacting work safety for an aging workforce and will do their research at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute in Hopkinton, MA, this summer.

Chen, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oregon, will be pursuing research on ‘Assessing the feasibility of using laboratory measures of gait imbalance to prospectively predict falls risk in the elderly’. Dr. Merryweather, a research assistant professor at the University of Utah, will pursue his research on the study to ‘evaluate the effects of hospital bed adjustments and slip parameters in a population of fall-prone, older adults’.

The goal of the Liberty Mutual Fellowship Program is to encourage research activity in the field of safety; familiarize graduate students, faculty members and other researchers with current research projects and up-to-date research models and applications to expand the body of knowledge; expand and stimulate safety research understanding; provide a forum for linking safety professionals, industry needs, and quality research programs; and lay the groundwork for graduate students and faculty members to pursue safety/health applied research projects of their choice.

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company’s report of 2010 net written premium. Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 82nd on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2010 revenue.  As of December 31, 2011, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $117.1 billion in consolidated assets, $99.3 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $34.7 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

Owned and operated by Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety ( has helped improve the occupational safety and health of workers for more than 50 years. Through laboratory and field-based investigations, the Research Institute seeks to advance scientific, business-relevant knowledge in workplace and roadway safety, and work disability. Research findings are shared with the worldwide health and safety community through peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. Ultimately, these findings are used to develop recommendations, guidelines, and interventions that help reduce risk and control costs.

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, established by and in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers, generates funding and provides resources for scholarship, applied research, academic accreditation and related academic initiatives in order to advance the safety, health and environmental profession. For more information on the Foundation and its programs, visit

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information, please go to and


Contact: Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413,

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