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Intervention studies for construction safety and health: a strong safety program as an injury prevention intervention.

Stafford-E; Cameron-W
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-007565, 2005 Oct; :1-156
It has long been recognized, essentially as a truism, that following an appropriate safety program is an essential element of injury prevention. Meridian Research, in a report prepared for OSHA, sites a Business Roundtable claim that contractors with good safety programs had only 36% as many injuries as the industry as a whole (Meridian). Leading contractors such as Bechtel require that all sub-contractors implement a safety and health program LeBar). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which also requires that contractors implement a safety program, reported injury rates less than a quarter of the industry average for the period 1992-1996 (CPWR). The above reports indicate that large construction organizations can achieve a very high level of safety and that safety and health programs are a key component of their efforts. However, the great majority of contractors, employing a majority of crafts workers, fit into the small to medium employer range for whom the implementation of an effective safety program can be an administrative and organizational challenge. Since 1996 CPWR has pursued a line of research into the mechanisms and impacts of the adoption of appropriate safety programs on safe work conditions and practices and on injury rates at smaller contractors. A previous CPWR study by Halperin, McDougall et al under NIOSH/CDC Grant 7 -RO1-CCR-317873 examined the impact of introducing a minimal safety program at small carpentry contractor throughout the New England area. Dr. Halperin's team was able to demonstrate that the safety practices of the study group improved over time and that a similar improvement was not present in the control group. These improvements were attributed to improved management commitment and to the impact of site visits. The study team was not able to demonstrate an improvement in any of the measures of injury rates that they studied, due primarily to the small number of participating contractors. The current study expanded upon Dr. Halperin's previous work by looking at mid-sized contractors in three regions and in a variety of trade sectors.
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
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC