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NIOSH Program Portfolio



NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

Goal 10.0: Improve understanding of how construction industry organization factors relate to injury and illness outcomes; and increase the sharing and use of industry-wide practices, policies, and partnerships that improve safety and health performance.

Intermediate Goal 10.2: Study how subcontractors and small construction employers affect construction system safety and health performance. Develop and disseminate model practices for improving subcontractor and small employer safety performance on multi-employer construction projects.

Research Goals
Research Goal Number Goal Description Status
10.2.1 Subcontractors - Evaluate current subcontracting trends and their potential impacts on injury reporting and occupational health and safety performance. For example, how has the large rise in “independent contractors” impacted construction safety? What effect does subcontracting out more dangerous tasks have on overall safety for the subcontractor and for the overall project? How can these effects be validated, mitigated or reduced?
10.2.2 Study small employer interactions on small construction projects to address three questions: 1) How well are safety roles and responsibilities managed by small contractors, subcontractors, and self-employed contractors? 2) What safety and health information sources and mechanisms are relied upon by these small employers? and 3) What best practices exist for small construction projects?
10.2.3 Study the interaction and impact of small employers on medium and larger size construction projects to address three interrelated questions: 1) Do small employers adversely impact project safety performance of other employers?; 2) Can small employers successfully apply flow down safety requirements on large projects or is customization needed to accommodate special needs?; and 3) How influential are well run projects for transferring safety skills and practices to small employers? Are safety gains specific only to that project or are they maintained on other jobs?
10.2.4 Use results from three previous intermediate goals to develop a white paper to describe small employer practice issues. Identify and evaluate promising best practices or new enhancements and accommodations for improving subcontractor and small employer safety and health performance and partner with construction stakeholders to disseminate and support their use.
Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


NIOSH Program:


construction worker, crane, architect