National Center for Construction Safety & Health Research and Translation

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Background

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). NIOSH is an agency established to help assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by conducting research and research translation, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. Information pertaining to the specific responsibilities of NIOSH are found in Section 22 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 CFR § 671).

Construction workers have high rates of work-related injuries and deaths in comparison with other industry sectors. In 2019, fatalities in the private construction industry increased 5% from 2018 to 1,061 – the largest total since 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsexternal icon. Construction worksites are organizationally complex multi-employer sites and present numerous health and safety challenges. Many types of construction work involve potential hazards such as silica, noise, struck-by or welding fumes, and construction tasks can involve awkward postures and other risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

A recent evaluation of the NIOSH Construction Program recognized CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training, which is the NIOSH-funded National Center for Construction Safety and Health Research and Translation, for the value of its research translation focused efforts in construction. Three documents resulted from this review of the program – one focused on the relevance and impact of the Construction Program’s work between 2007 and 2017 in the areas of silica, musculoskeletal disorders, noise exposure and hearing loss, highway work zones, and fall prevention. The other two documents include the scores, rationale, and recommendations provided to NIOSH by the Construction Program review panel in response to the program review and the NIOSH Construction Program’s response to each recommendation in the review panel’s report. NIOSH periodically updates its Construction Research Program plan or strategies in order to implement recommendations from the review, as feasible. Additionally, in 2007, the NIOSH Construction Research Program underwent an external review conducted by the National Academies’ Board on Infrastructure of the Constructed Environment (BICE) (hereafter referred to as the National Academies). In December 2009, NIOSH established an Office of Construction Safety and Health for improving and intensifying coordination and integration activities with the NIOSH-funded National Construction Center and other stakeholders. The NIOSH Construction Research Program, including the extramural grantees component, strives to fulfill its mission through four key areas: high quality research, practical solutions, partnerships, and research-to-practice.

Purpose

NIOSH continues its financial and technical support for a National Construction Center with emphasis on applied research, translation of scientific discoveries for target-specific users to prevent or reduce construction related injury and illness, effective prevention practices and products (research-to-practice), education and outreach, and sustainable partnerships.

A robust data and statistical program capability as well as a publicly-accessible research-to-practice repository for construction hazards and solutions, educational materials, and other products are expected.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)

CPWR’sexternal icon construction safety and health research program builds on its experience administering the Construction Center since 1990. As an integral part of the NIOSH Construction Research Program, CPWR’s objective is to continue to reduce the injuries and illnesses in the construction industry by 1) building on its current base of knowledge and intensifying and accelerating the identification and adoption of evidence-based best practices; 2) responding to the NORA Construction Sector Council goals and recommendations from the recent Construction Program review; 3) focusing more on research to practice (r2p); 4) being prepared to respond rapidly to emerging issues and trends; 5) disseminating its findings in new and more innovative ways; and 6) tracking changes in the industry and evaluating changes in safety and health outcomes.

Fiscal Year (FY) Extramural Research Program Highlights

Program achievements featured in the Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Reports

Funding Opportunity Announcements

All cooperative agreement funding opportunity announcements can be found at:
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/oep/cooperative.html

Additional Resources

Page last reviewed: February 3, 2021