Construction Program

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Construction Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, academia, professional organizations, and other government organizations. The program focuses on construction worker safety and health in these areas:

  • Preventing injuries and fatalities related to falls and struck-by incidents
  • Reducing hearing loss among workers
  • Reducing hazardous respiratory exposures among workers, especially to crystalline silica
  • Reducing injuries and musculoskeletal disorders related to emerging or new technologies
What do we do?
  • Raise awareness of evidence-based ways to prevent falls in the construction industry:
    • Promote the NIOSH research-based national Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, and the Safety Stand-Down.
    • Evaluate the success of the Campaign in collaboration with the NIOSH-funded Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
    • Develop fall prevention tools, educational materials, trainings, and other resources and disseminate through electronic, web, and social media.
  • Provide information, tools, and resources to advance hearing loss prevention efforts, encourage manufacturers to design and produce quieter equipment while encouraging companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery.
  • Increase availability and use of silica dust controls. The Program focuses on the tasks with common and high silica exposures, such as tuckpointing and installing natural or engineered stone countertops.
  • Increase the availability and use of effective interventions to improve practice (research-to-practice or r2p) in the construction industry.
What have we accomplished?
  • Provided data and input to OSHA in support of their effort to expand Table 1pdf iconexternal icon (silica controls) of the silica standard that requires employers to protect construction workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
  • Used recommendations from the external peer review of the construction program to update internal research projects.
  • Developed informational resources, including short videos, to reduce the significant problem of opioid misuse and overdose deaths among construction workers.
What’s next?
  • Develop videos, blogs, infographics, and other communication products targeting small construction businesses and populations at disproportionate risk of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
  • Research the use of robotics, exoskeletons, or other emerging technologies in construction to determine impact on health and safety. Develop
  • communication products on some of these topics.
  • Work with key partners on a series of workshops on Prevention through Design (PtD) for the Construction Sector.
  • Conduct a series of webinars on COVID-19 for construction stakeholders and partners.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Construction Program aims to eliminate work-related injuries, diseases, and fatalities among construction workers. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work.

Number of fatalities from falls in construction (all employment), 2006-2018
Number of fatalities from falls in construction (all employment), 2006-2018

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1992-2018 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Numbers are from the online CFOI database.

New promotional material developed to highlight struck-by injuries

New promotional material developed to highlight struck-by injuries

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November 2020

Page last reviewed: October 29, 2020