Although research in construction safety and health has increased markedly in the past decade, construction remains one of the most dangerous types of work. The federal government now offers several million dollars in funding for safety and health training and research through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); little of this money was available in 1990. Still, the rate of deaths from injuries in construction has remained roughly constant at about 14 per 100,000 workers. This figure is higher than for any other industry, except two: mining and agriculture (which includes logging and fishing). Given about 9 million construction workers in the United States, the numbers killed yearly in construction - more than 1,100 in the year 2000 - exceed those in every other industry. Add the well over 190,000 serious injuries and an unknown number of illnesses to the toll, and there is no doubt about the need for a marked improvement in worker protections.(1) Believing that a different approach to the problem might help, the Center to Protect Workers' Rights applied to NIOSH for funding for a web-based clearinghouse on construction safety and health. The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR) is the research and development arm of the construction unions, the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFLCIO. CPWR works with contractors, union leaders, universities, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to improve workplace safety and health. The construction clearinghouse, later named eLCOSH - the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health - has been hosted by NIOSH, which is part of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), at http://www.elcosh.org/index.php
, since August 1, 2000.