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Intervention studies for construction safety and health.

Halperin-K; McDougall-V; Waddoups-CJ; Bodah-MM; Roelofs-C; Vogel-M
NIOSH 2001 May; :1-294
A safety program was introduced to 21 small contractors who employ union carpenters in the New England Area (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). After the program was introduced, participating contractors' construction sites were inspected over a three-year period. During the same period, inspectors also observed construction sites of nonparticipating contractors who employed union carpenters. Data were gathered on the necessity and incidence of safe work practices such as fall protection, hard hat usage, eye protection, proper housekeeping procedures, proper ground fault procedures, and hearing protection, along with other characteristics, of 542 construction sites. The aim of the study was to determine if the safety program affected the observed incidence of safe work practices among the carpenters employed by the participating contractors. The overall results revealed no statistically significant difference in safe work practices of carpenters employed by participating contractors compared to their counterparts employed by those not participating. Other notable findings suggested a trend of less compliance with fall protection guidelines in the winter months and a higher probability of compliance during periods of more unemployment in the regions. Hard hats were more likely to be worn if a formal safety plan was located on the site, perhaps a proxy of how conscientious the contractors followed the safety plan. Proper eye protection procedures were more likely to be observed when the carpenter foremen had received OSHA training and unemployment rates were higher than average. The analysis also discovered substantial heterogeneity between contractors with respect to the six safety practices, implying that managements' safety policies and/or attitudes toward safe work must be seriously addressed if safety improvements are to occur on construction sites. Finally, the ancillary surveys of foremen and carpenters cast doubt on the degree to which important elements of the safety plan were adopted by participating contractors. Such findings may explain the findings of similar safety behaviors between the study and the control groups.
Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Hearing-protection; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Personal-protective-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC