In December, 2009, NIOSH announced its new Office of Construction Safety and Health. Construction is a key industrial sector that employs more than eight million Americans. The Office will ensure rigorous coordination of construction safety and health research, partnerships, and practice to address the safety and health challenges that construction workers face. Learn more about the work we do in our report: NIOSH’s Office of Construction Safety and Health: Accomplishments in our First Four Yearspdf icon


G. Scott Earnest
Director, NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health and
Manager, NORA Construction Sector

Scott Earnest is Director, NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health and Manager, NORA Construction Sector. Prior to joining the Office of Construction Safety and Health, Scott served as Branch Chief for the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch (EPHB) in the Division of Applied Research and Technology since 2005. EPHB conducts research in engineering controls, hearing loss prevention, and aerosol science/nanotechnology. Since joining NIOSH in 1991, he has led research in the control of occupational exposures to air contaminants by serving as a project officer, Team Leader and Branch Chief. He has over 70 peer reviewed publications and technical reports. Prior to joining NIOSH, he was an active duty, commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers. He is a member of the Commissioned Officers Association (COA) of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), and has been active in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He is an expert in air filtration, industrial ventilation, and indoor air quality. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and Certified Safety Professional (CSP). He received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial and mechanical engineering from the Purdue University, University of Cincinnati, and University of Minnesota, respectively. He has received the PHS Engineer of the Year award, the NIOSH Alice Hamilton Award, the Bullard-Sherwood award, the USPHS Outstanding Service Medal, and the USPHS Villforth leadership award for engineering and public health leadership.

Elizabeth Garza
Public Health Analyst, NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health
Coordinator, NORA Construction Sector

Elizabeth Garza has been with NIOSH since 2009 as a Public Health Analyst. She worked first with NIOSH’s Deputy Director for Program, and its Office of Global Collaborations. She began working with the Office of Construction Safety and Health in 2012. Her public health expertise and fluency in Spanish have enabled her to take the lead on disparities issues in construction. She provides programmatic assistance in support of the NORA Construction Sector Council activities. She also assists the Office in conducting outreach activities, developing r2p approaches, and managing the Construction Steering Committee. She’s a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Her degrees include a B.S. in Biology & International Relations as well as a Master in Public health (MPH). She also holds the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential.

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2018