National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction


The National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction is intended to identify the knowledge and actions most urgently needed to identify occupational risk factors to prevent avoidable adverse health outcomes among workers. This agenda provides a vehicle for interested parties to describe the most relevant issues, research gaps, and safety and health needs for the Construction sector. It is meant to be broader than any one agency or organization.

A variety of information sources were used to develop these objectives. The Council elected to adopt NIOSH’s burden, need and impact framework for considering potential objectives. Participants represented a cross-section of groups and individuals and provided a variety of construction perspectives.  The Sector Council members discussed burden, need, and impact; possible objectives; and supporting rationale during online meetings. Workgroups were formed around potential construction sector objectives that workgroups began to discuss and develop. At a face-to-face meeting, each workgroup presented their draft objective statement, objective language and supporting rationale, along with corresponding burden, need, and impact related to the particular objective. Objectives were refined in subsequent virtual and face-to-face meeting. After considering public comments and making revisions, the final version was published in 2018.

National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction

Objective 1: Falls from heights – Eliminate falls in construction
Objective 2: Falls from same level – Significantly reduce or eliminate slips, trips, and falls
Objective 3: Struck by – Reduce fatal and serious injuries associated with struck-by incidents associated with objects, vehicles, and collapsing materials and structures in construction
Objective 4: Electrical – Conduct research to address electrical safety issues on construction sites
Objective 5: Respiratory and dermal – Reduce the frequency of occupational disease caused by respiratory and dermal hazards in construction
Objective 6: Hearing loss – Reduce occupational hearing loss in construction through a multifaceted research and outreach effort
Objective 7: Musculoskeletal disorders – Reduce the risk and burden of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in construction
Objective 8: Workers at disproportionate risk – Conduct research to eliminate disproportionate risks in construction
Objective 9: Small business – Reduce the number of illnesses, injuries, and fatalities occurring in small construction firms (employing 20 or fewer employees)
Objective 10: Emerging issues
Objective 11: Extreme temperatures – Reduce the likelihood of temperature extreme incidents in in construction and develop intervention strategies to protect these workers
Objective 12: Prevention through Design (PtD) – Increase the use of PtD approaches to prevent or reduce safety and health hazards in construction
Objective 13: Research to Practice (r2p) – Build capacity for and a body of research on effective translation research and r2p strategies to advance the use of evidence-based interventions in construction
Objective 14: Work organization – Improve conditions in construction by studying safety culture and safety climate and how work is organized
Objective 15: Surveillance – Reduce occupational safety and health hazards in construction through proactive surveillance activities and research
Objective 16: Training – Research to increase the reach, scope, and effectiveness of training in construction

Page last reviewed: May 23, 2022