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NORA Symposium 2006 Sector Workshops

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

  Workshop Index  


The Construction Sector Workshop was held on April 20 at NORA Symposium 2006. Twenty-six people participated. Following opening remarks that included a presentation of the top issues that had been submitted to the NORA Docket, participants suggested important topics for future work in the construction sector and each participant received 10 votes to distribute among the topics. After grouping like topics, Table 1 presents the workshop participants’ “top ten” group of topics. Table 2 presents a group of other important topics. Table 3 contains an unordered list of topics and key points raised during the discussion. Similar topics were then combined after the voting had occurred to make Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. “Top ten” topics of workshop participants

Ranked TopicsMulti-votes received
Small Business/self employed contractor needs28
Musculoskeletal disorders/ergonomics24
Falls from heights20
Safety and design19
Special populations/Hispanic workforce issues19
Hearing Loss and Noise exposure awareness18
Intervention effectiveness16
Promoting “crew based safety climate”13
Training effectiveness10


Table 2. Preliminary second tier of construction sector issues

Ranked TopicsMulti-votes received
Translation for small contractors and communicating risks9
Transient workforce8
Business case for safety in construction7
Respiratory and other health hazards6
Behavioral based safety6


Table 3. Inventory of “top Construction Sector issues” suggested by individual participants

Suggested construction topic and key points raisedMulti-voting resultsWas grouped with similar topic for “Top 10” list
Falls from height
-Targeting special populations (e.g. Hispanic workers)
-Disseminate tools that work
-Focus on laborers, roofers, residential construction
-Access to manufacturers data as a problem area
-Designing for older workers
Hispanic workforce/special populations11Yes
Training effectiveness2Yes
Reaching exploited (non-union) workforce on healthy behaviors2 
Noise exposure awareness
-Lack of regulatory coverage for construction noise
-Mobile population challenges
-Identifying high risk groups
-Need for better surveillance systems
Fit problems for PPE1 
Noise and special populations
-Insufficient control technology
-Hearing conservation for transient workers
-Tool and noise data
-Impact noise poorly characterized
Intervention effectiveness research
-Example of working with unions that have had training programs
Promoting “crew based safety climate”
-Workers pre-planning and control activities
-Use work crew performance model from mining sector
Small Contractors
-Resource needs
Respiratory and other health hazards
-better characterize exposures
-long latency, rather than observable effects
Hearing Loss
-Lack of basic audiometric services and education
Effect of changing demographics
-Need to match needs with skills and tools
Training effectiveness6Yes
Surveillance – gaps in available information with changes in coding systems14 
Translate knowledge for smaller contractors, especially for residential6Yes
Small tool design and engineering controls
-sequential trigger for nail guns as example
Falls in residential construction
-Surveillance still important – need all hospitalizations to be reported
-diffuse solutions to small contractors
-better research effectiveness
-develop more solutions
-improve implementation of existing solutions
-show cost effectiveness of existing solutions
Safety in Design
-Increase architects knowledge of hazards so they can be eliminated
Business case for safety
-culture in industry
-Understanding disconnect
Training credentials for company management and OSH professionals2 
Planning for Safety – System safety for construction4 
Special populations – Biomarkers and unique susceptibilities3Yes
Strategies for disaster response management for construction workers1 
Psychological Stress
-Intermittent work
-Contribution to substance abuse
Residential Building
-Improve surveillance (especially health)
-Need data to understand causes
-Root causes
-simple solutions
-understanding risk taking behaviors
-“New” employees and early phases of work
-Teen workers
MSD – Developing solutions9Yes
Safety Culture
-What are the best practices?
-How to create good safety culture?
Communicating risks to construction workers3Yes
Intervention effectiveness7Yes
Surveillance….for controls
-What is being used? (need a baseline)
Safety through Design
-How to get architects involved?
-Learning from international approaches
-Moving safety upstream
Small Business
-Getting them information that is meaningful to them
-Simple messages that reflect their culture
Transient workers
-Impact on surveillance
-Underreporting of injuries
-Undefined hazards
Heavy equipment struck bys2 
Facilitation of field research (helping researchers)5 
Behavioral based safety
-Understanding barriers to implementation
-Changing behaviors
-Training effectiveness
Self-employed contractors4Yes