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Identification of potential hazards associated with new residential construction.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2000 Feb; 15(2):189-192
There were several advantages and limitations of this observational study. The most important advantage of this study was the opportunity to observe residential construction workers performing their jobs. By observing work practices, valuable information was gathered about specific trades and their potential exposure to various chemical and physical agents. This information will be useful in guiding subsequent exposure assessments. Probably the greatest limitation of this study was the lack of participation by homebuilders. Ideally, observations of construction processes would have been more objective if the study included the participation of more than one homebuilder. Aside from one worker who was observed to wear safety glasses, leather gloves, and a dust mask, virtually no personal protective equipment (PPE) was observed onsite. Often small contractors do not have the financial resources necessary to procure the appropriate PPE and issue these items to the workers. Based on hazard prevalence, professional judgement, and the degree of hazardous product use, potential exposures that warrant quantitative sampling efforts during Phase 2 of this study are: bulldozer/backhoe operators--noise, vibration, diesel exhaust; concrete workers--naphtha, mineral spirits, Portland cement; asphalt workers--petroleum hydrocarbons, asphalt, mineral spirits; plumbers--methylethyl ketone, acetone, tetrahydrofuran, cyclohexanone; drywall finishers--total and respirable dust, hexane, acetone; painters--ethylene glycol, VOCs; masons--dust (during the preparation of mortar); floor preparation technicians--total and respirable dust; and ceramic tile installers--toluene, naphtha, silica (from grout powder).
Occupational hazards; Construction industry; Construction; Construction workers; Occupational exposure; Workers; Work practices; Exposure assessment; Safety equipment
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division