Construction Program

Burden, Need and Impact

man climbing a ladder

There were approximately 10.7 million workers in Construction in 2017. Although only 6.9% of the workforce, this sector accounted for 19.7% of the fatalities for U.S. workers. It also had approximately 198,100 occupational injuries and illnesses, 5.8% of the total.1 Although injuries and illnesses are challenging to track and are frequently undercounted, this is the best estimate available at this time.2

NIOSH strives to maximize its impact in occupational safety and health. The Construction Program identifies priorities to guide investments, and base those priorities on the evidence of burden, need and impact. Priority areas for NIOSH’s Construction Program include traumatic injuries (i.e. from falls), musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss, respiratory exposures, non-standard work arrangements, opioid and other substance use disorders prevention, suicide prevention robotics, automation and exoskeletons. Workers in the construction industry face a number of hazards, which are well-documented by the NIOSH Worker Health Charts and the NIOSH-funded National Construction Center, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training in The Construction Chart Book, 6th editionexternal icon and in their Quarterly Data Reportsexternal icon.


1NIOSH [2019]. Current U.S. Workforce Data by NORA sector. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
2 BLS [2016]. An update on SOII undercount research activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, icon

Page last reviewed: October 23, 2018