Construction Program

man holding a blue construction hat

The Construction Program aims to eliminate work-related injuries, diseases, and fatalities among construction workers. The Construction Program utilizes partnerships with industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia, to identify the most relevant issues.

Featured Items

Campaign and National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction
In 2012, NIOSH, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and CPWR – the Center for Construction Research and Training along with the NORA Construction Sector Council launched a National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction. It is a nationwide initiative to prevent falls at construction sites. Companies can participate and find valuable resources.

What Construction Workers Need to Know about COVID-19 | CDC
Industry specific information and resources are available to protect essential construction workers against COVID-19.

Construction Directory of Resources
The NIOSH Construction Program provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by systematically gathering information, conducting targeted scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products, solutions and services tailored to meet construction needs.

Description

The NIOSH Construction Program’s mission is to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries, and fatalities among individuals working in this industry through a focused program of research and prevention. The program strives to fulfill its mission through High Quality Research, Practical Solutions, Partnerships, and Research to Practice (r2p). Over the years, NIOSH and its partners have completed numerous research projects to address construction safety and health issues. Support is provided for extramural construction research projects conducted by academic and other researchers through grants and cooperative agreements. Projects cut across a number of important construction issues including falls and musculoskeletal disorders, health hazards such as noise, silica, and welding fumes and unique aspects associated with the construction setting – such as small business outreach, vulnerable workers, the lack of permanent work stations and continuously changing environments, opioid and other substance use disorders and suicides.

Research Priorities

The Construction program has selected research priorities on the basis of burden, need, and impact and collaborated with other NIOSH research programs to write the research goals in the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019-2023. The priority areas are:

  • Preventing harmful noise exposure among construction workers through engineering controls
  • Reducing occupational musculoskeletal disorders stemming from emerging technology and exoskeleton use
  • Reducing occupational respiratory diseases caused by exposure to mineral dusts, welding fumes, and nanomaterials.
  • Improving workplace safety to reduce traumatic injuries such as falls, substance use/misuse, and injuries related to emerging technologies
  • Promoting safe and healthy work design to improve safety and health among workers in non-standard work arrangements and other vulnerable workers
Accomplishments

PPOP
The Construction Program Performance One-Pager (PPOP) offers a snapshot of NIOSH programs’ priorities, strategies used to make progress towards priorities, recent accomplishments, and upcoming work. Below are the PPOPs for the Construction program and the National Construction Center, CPWR:

Program Review 2017
NIOSH understands that external expert review is one of the most valid and accepted methods of evaluating research programs. In 2017, the Construction Program underwent external review by an independent panel of experts. The Program was assessed on relevance and impact of the program’s work in the areas of respirable crystalline silica, musculoskeletal disorders, noise and hearing loss, highway work zones, and fall prevention. The program received a score of 9.5 out of 10 (5 for relevance and 4.5 for impact). More information, including the evidence package prepared by the program and the report written by the review panel, are available on the Evaluation of NIOSH Programs page.

To learn more

Resource and Topic Pages
More information on specific workplace safety and health topics and useful resources can be found on the Construction Directory of Resources

NORA Council
The CON Program helps lead the NORA Construction Sector Council, which brings together individuals and organizations to share information, form partnerships, and promote adoption and dissemination of solutions that work. The council seeks to facilitate the most important research, understand the most effective intervention strategies, and learn how to implement those strategies to achieve sustained improvements in workplace practice. The final version of the research agenda for the Construction council can be found here.

Contact the Construction Program
Contact Dr. Scott Earnest at GEarnest@cdc.gov with any questions about the Construction Program.

Page last reviewed: October 23, 2018