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NIOSH Program Portfolio

 

Construction

NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

Goal 10.0: Improve understanding of how construction industry organization factors relate to injury and illness outcomes; and increase the sharing and use of industry-wide practices, policies, and partnerships that improve safety and health performance.

Intermediate Goal 10.1: Analyze how construction industry complexity and fragmentation can affect safety and health performance. Evaluate safety roles, responsibilities, interactions, and oversight among the multiple parties involved with complex construction projects. Address regular and accelerated construction project lifecycles. Identify obstacles and opportunities for improving system performance.

Research Goals
Research Goal Number Goal Description Status
10.1.1 Construction Project Organizations - Evaluate roles, relationships and responsibilities among key construction project participants (owners or host employers, general contractors, subcontractors, unions, equipment vendors and suppliers) to identify problem areas (e.g., gaps and ambiguities) and opportunities (e.g., model/best practices). Who has oversight and control? How well are safety and health efforts coordinated? Within 2 years. develop a white paper describing current variations in construction practice, potential organizational risk factors and suggesting enhanced model practices.
10.1.2 Construction Professionals - Evaluate roles, relationships and responsibilities among key professional disciplines at all phases of construction projects (architects, engineers, safety engineers, industrial hygienists, attorneys, construction managers and risk-management specialists) to identify problem areas and opportunities. How well do these groups communicate and share safety responsibilities? While the professional’s role on a particular project will also be affected by the organizational entity that professional is working for, it is important for construction professionals to understand these variations. Within 2 years, develop a white paper describing current variations in construction practice, potential organizational risk factors and suggesting enhanced model practices.
10.1.3 Construction practices and systems – Evaluate industry-specific practices and systems used to define, influence, and control construction work, safety roles of supervisors and workers, relationships and responsibilities at the project and industry level. These include project delivery systems, procurement practices, bidding arrangements, contract specifications and language, project management systems, and health and safety management systems. For example, how well integrated is safety and health into production on a typical project? Within 2 years, develop a white paper describing variation in current application of these systems, the impact on safety and health, metrics for measuring these impacts, potential organizational risk factors and suggestions for model practices.
From Finger-pointing to Lifesaving: A Supply Chain Approach to Construction OSH
10.1.4 Accelerated schedule work – Evaluate how accelerated work and accompanying incentives (both bonuses and penalties) can impact safety and health performance at the project level and identify existing mechanisms that can enhance safety management to prevent fast track or accelerated work from leading to increased injuries and exposures. Include evaluation of prolonged extended shift work, night work, and how accelerated work might adversely interact with other factors (e.g. communication, fatigue, etc.). Develop a white paper describing these results, types of useful leading indicators for these types of accelerated projects, potential organizational risk factors, and suggestions for model practices to support productive but safe work.
10.1.5 Maintenance and inspection practices. Evaluate the effectiveness of current industry practices regarding inspection and maintenance of construction equipment such as cranes across multiple projects. What is the link between these practices and construction safety? What are the types of arrangements currently available, how common are they, and how effective? Are there sufficient inspectors and sufficient inspection methods available? Can shortages in key personnel and/or equipment affect industry safety performance? Develop a white paper describing these results and suggesting model practices.
10.1.6 Employer-level work organization practices. Project level organizational risk factors flow down to construction employers - but some risk factors may also be generated at the employer level. Do employer-level factors such as employment arrangements, employee turnover, employer-provided incentives, reliance on long duration extended shift work, employee involvement, or other factors affect safety and health performance and if so how? Within 3 years, develop a white paper to identify and describe the main employer-level work organization concerns, potential organizational risk factors, and suggestions for model employer-level practices.

r2p Goals
r2p Goal Number Goal Description Status
10.1.7 Model/best practices - Evaluate promising model practices identified by the previous research goals (10.1.1 to 10.1.5). Collaborate with construction stakeholders to pilot test the most promising options. For example, these might include new prequalification approaches, safety enhancements required for fast track or accelerated projects or methods to integrate safety and health into project wide “Building Information Modeling” (BIM) tools. They might also include audit tools for evaluating complex projects or for evaluating organizational root causes during incident investigations.
Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director

 

NIOSH Program:

Construction

construction worker, crane, architect