Category: Construction

A Guide to Respirators Used for Dust in Construction

Construction dust can cause serious damage to workers’ health and life-threatening diseases. Construction workers can be exposed to many types of dust, such as silica, wood, and lead dust. Workplace exposure to small particles of silica dust, also known as respirable crystalline silica, can lead to serious diseases, including silicosis, a progressive lung disease marked Read More >

Posted on by CAPT Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; Christopher Coffey, Ph.D; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Jeanette Novakovich, PhD; CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH; Scott Breloff, PhD; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH13 Comments

Stand-Down for Falls in Its 7th Year: Fatal Falls are Falling

The National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction was launched in 2012 through the NORA Construction Sector Council with leadership from NIOSH, OSHA and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. Each year as part of the Campaign, safety stand-downs are held by employers across the country to focus on fall prevention. The Read More >

Posted on by Scott Breloff, PhD; Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH; Jeanette Novakovich, PhD1 Comment

Heat Stress in Construction

As we post this blog, we realize that some states may be under work restrictions due to COVID-19. Please follow the appropriate guidance for your area. Workers should not share water bottles or cups when hydrating. Social distancing applies in the workplace and break areas. See U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of and Read More >

Posted on by CAPT Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH; and Christina Socias-Morales, DrPH6 Comments

World Cancer Day 2020 – Reflecting on a Decade of NIOSH Cancer Research

February 4th, 2020 is World Cancer Day, and we are reflecting on the role of the occupational cancer research being done at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in reducing the burden of cancer worldwide. Cancer develops as a result of the body losing its ability to control the growth and spread Read More >

Posted on by Raquel Velazquez-Kronen, Ph.D.; and Jasmine Nelson, B.S.7 Comments

Drug Overdose in the Workplace and the Role of Opioids

The drug overdose epidemic continues to afflict our country. Nationally, there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 [i] involving opioids (such as fentanyl, heroin and hydrocodone), stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine), and alcohol.[ii] Nearly 70% of these deaths involved an opioid.[ii] Recent data show that drug overdoses at work are increasing. Read More >

Posted on by Dawn Castillo, MPH; Michael Fiore, MS; Emily Sparer-Fine, ScD; Hope M. Tiesman, PhD; Steve Wurzelbacher, PhD5 Comments

Wearable Technologies for Improved Safety and Health on Construction Sites

Background Wearable technologies are an increasingly popular consumer electronic for a variety of applications at home and at work. In general, these devices include accessories and clothing that incorporate advanced electronic technologies, often with smartphone or ‘internet of things’ (IoT) connectivity. While wearables are increasingly being used to improve health and well-being by aiding in Read More >

Posted on by Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; CAPT Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH, John Snawder, Ph.D., DABT, Rick Rinehart, ScD.4 Comments

The Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT) for Construction

Organizational safety climate is defined as shared perceptions among employees regarding what is rewarded, expected, valued, and reinforced in the workplace with respect to safety (Zohar, 1980). It can positively influence employee safety knowledge, motivation, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as reduce injury outcomes (e.g., Clarke, 2010, Probst et al., 2008, Probst and Estrada, 2010, Read More >

Posted on by Linda M. Goldenhar, PhD3 Comments

Preventing Trenching Fatalities

Construction workers are at risk of death or serious injury if they enter an unprotected trench and the walls col­lapse. A trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet or 4.5 meters [OSHA]. Hazards associated with trench work and excavation are Read More >

Posted on by CAPT Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH6 Comments

Construction Fall Fatalities Still Highest Among All Industries: What more can we do?

Falls are the leading cause of construction-worker fatalities, accounting for one-third of on-the-job deaths in the industry. In 2017, there were 366 fall fatalities out of 971 total fatalities in construction. According to the CPWR, from 2011-2015, 61% of fatal falls in construction occurred in small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Almost two-thirds of Read More >

Posted on by CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH4 Comments

Preventing Electrocution of Construction Contract Workers

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released a report based upon U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data showing that 77% of the 325 contract worker electrocutions that occurred from 2012-2016 involved workers employed in the construction industry (NFPA 2018). Nearly 60% of the electrocutions were caused by direct Read More >

Posted on by Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; CAPT Alan Echt, DrPH, CIH; and CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH10 Comments

Labor Day Message from NIOSH Director, John Howard, MD

More than just a “day off,” Labor Day provides us a moment to pause and reflect on the efforts and sacrifice all men and women across the nation have worked through to keep this country moving, day and night, contributing to the economic and material well-being of its inhabitants. NIOSH’s mission has been and will Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD2 Comments

Improving Occupational Safety and Health in the Construction and Mining Industries

With nearly 126 million full-time U.S. workers at risk of occupational illness and injury, it is critical to prioritize our research efforts to address the most important issues. One approach used by NIOSH and its partners to establish priorities is to consider the burden, need, and impact of potential research topics. This method allows us Read More >

Posted on by Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Eileen P. Betit and Dana R. Willmer, PhD2 Comments

Safe-in-Sound Award Celebrates 10 Years and New Partner

In 2008, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) created the Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ to recognize organizations that document measurable achievements in hearing loss prevention. Over the past 10 years we have given out 10 Excellence Awards and 13 Innovation Awards. In Read More >

Posted on by Thais C. Morata, PhD3 Comments

5th Annual National Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Falls remain the leading cause of death in construction. In 2016, there were 370 fall fatalities out of 991 total fatalities in construction. There were more fatal injuries in construction than any other industry in the United States in 2015, accounting for 20% of the nation’s 4,836 work-related deaths that year. According to the CPWR-the Read More >

Posted on by CDR Elizabeth Garza, MPH, CPH, and Christine Branche, PhD, FACE4 Comments

Ototoxicant Chemicals and Workplace Hearing Loss

  Since the 19th century, many therapeutic drugs have been known to affect hearing. Known as ototoxic drugs, many are used today in clinical situations despite these negative side effects because they are effective in treating serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Research has shown that exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace may also negatively affect Read More >

Posted on by Thais C. Morata, PhD and Chuck Kardous, MS, PE11 Comments

Musculoskeletal Health Research to Benefit Construction Workers

In October 2017 the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-Sector program published the first blog in a series to highlight musculoskeletal health research at NIOSH. With spring just around the corner, this blog—the fourth installment in the series—will discuss how best to promote musculoskeletal health and reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among construction workers. Construction Read More >

Posted on by Emily Warner, MA and Jack Lu, PhD, CPELeave a comment

Christine M. Branche, PhD, Protecting America’s Construction Workers

During Women’s History Month, NIOSH will highlight several female researchers and their contributions to NIOSH and America’s workers. Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., is the Director of the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health. Dr. Branche began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1996 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Read More >

Posted on by Jenise Brassell, MS4 Comments

Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing Among US Workers

  Have you ever wondered if your job involves more standing, bending, or lifting than other jobs? Or if there are ways you could avoid injuries from these movements while on the job? Last week, NIOSH published an article on frequent exertion and frequent standing among US workers by industry and occupation group. Using data from Read More >

Posted on by Taylor M. Shockey, MPH 3 Comments

NIOSH Presents: An Occupational Safety and Health Perspective on Robotics Applications in the Workplace

On October 12, 2017, three researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) gave a panel presentation at the National Robot Safety Conference on robotics applications in the workplace and worker safety. The conference was hosted in Pittsburgh, PA by the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). Among the attendees were robotics engineers and Read More >

Posted on by Hongwei Hsiao, PhD; HeeSun Choi, PhD, John Sammarco, PhD; Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP; Dawn Castillo, MPH; and Gene Hill2 Comments

Can Drones Make Construction Safer?

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) often called drones are increasingly used for military, recreational, public, and commercial purposes. UAVs have the potential to prevent injury and death in the construction industry where nearly 1,000 workers died in 2015. Advancements in UAV technology could help reduce construction-related injury and death from falls, toxic chemical exposures, electrical hazards, Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Vladimir Murashov, PhD; and Christine Branche, PhD, FACE35 Comments