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Guiding construction injury research: data coupled with industry experience.

Fosbroke-D; Casini-V; Furrow-K; Hause-M; Linn-H; Washenitz-F
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 1997. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1997 Oct; :1
In 1996, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Division of Safety Research (DSR) initiated a process of examining current construction injury research, identifying research gaps, and developing a strategic research plan. Through existing injury surveillance data systems, much is known about the leading causes of fatal (falls, motor vehicles, machines, and electrocutions) and nonfatal injury (overexertion, falls, and struck by objects) in the construction industry; however, little research has focused on identifying injury problems for specific subsectors of the construction industry. Research that is focused on specific injury problems and specific types of construction work (e.g., falls during truss installation) may lead more directly to identification of effective interventions than research on general injury categories in the construction industry as a whole (e.g., falls in construction). Three high-risk construction industry sectors (highway and street construction, residential building construction, and roofing and truss installation) were selected based on a review of fatal and nonfatal injury data, the number of workers at risk, current trends in the construction industry, OSHA's regulatory agenda, an external panel evaluation of The National Program for Occupational Safety and Health in Construction, the National Occupational Research Agenda, and DSR expertise and research projects. For each industry sector, NIOSH conducted a facilitated workshop with participants from labor unions, construction companies, contractor associations, product manufacturers, insurance companies, and State and federal agencies. DSR staff identified brainstorming topics for each workshop based on the leading causes of fatal and nonfatal injury for that industry subsector. Brainstorming topics included motor vehicle incidents, falls from elevation, "struck by" incidents, and overexertion. Workshop participants were asked to suggest potential safety research ideas that could lead to a reduction of injuries from these causes in their industry sectors. Each workshop yielded a list of more than 100 ideas about general problem areas where the participants felt further research was warranted. Following each workshop, NIOSH staff, with the assistance of federal partners, used a multivoting technique to narrow these lists to approximately 30 ideas for further study. Some suggestions were very specific (e.g., design a fall restraint system for workers riding in pickup truck beds while placing or removing traffic cones); others were broad in scope (evaluate the effectiveness of training). Other broad themes that crossed industry sector and injury categories included the following: identify high-risk construction tasks, activities, processes, and stages; improve the quality and coverage of surveillance data; develop new, or adapt existing technologies to the unique conditions of specific industries; compare the relative risks of different types of construction projects; study the relationship of training, experience, and injury; improve partnerships among research organizations, industry, and labor; and improve, simplify, and more effectively disseminate safety information. The process of combining injury surveillance data with the experience of individuals in the affected industries provided NIOSH researchers with a broader perspective on the safety research needs of the construction industry.
Injuries; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Workers; Safety-research
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division