Standards for U.S. Construction Sites


It is not a surprise that construction is a high hazard industry that comprises a wide range of activities involving the alteration, construction, and repair. Construction workers are involved in many activities that may lead them into serious hazards, such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and so on.

Over 6.5 million people work at more than 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any single day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industry standards

Construction Hazards

Potential hazards for workers in construction may include:

  • Falls (from heights)
  • Trench collapse
  • Scaffold collapse
  • Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast
  • Failure to use proper personal protective equipment
  • Repetitive motion injuries

In this section, we will speak about fall Protection, as long as each year, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. A number of factors are often involved in falls, including unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment, and human error. Studies have shown that using guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and restraint systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.

U.S. Department of Labor suggests the following Solutions:

  • Consider using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces;
  • Erect guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines or install control line systems to protect workers near the edges of floors and roofs;
  • Cover floor holes; and/or
  • Use safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems (body harnesses).

Construction Industry

The global construction industry is one of the most lucrative and competitive. To successfully bid on projects, construction firms must run an efficient operation, one that is proactive about safety and sustainability, and flexible enough to respond to evolving industry demands.

Certification to any of several ISO standards is one of the best investments a construction firm can make. Certified construction contractors have built-in credentials that will help them grow their business, mitigate compliance and liability risks, and run a leaner, more responsive operation overall.

The construction industry is multifaceted, comprising contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, suppliers and other professionals in the private, government, and military sectors. Depending on the nature of your organization, any of several standards may be relevant, including:

  • ISO 9001 - the international standard for quality management — one of the most commonly used ISO systems in the world
  • ISO 14001 - the international standard for environmental management systems
  • ISO 50001 - the international standard for energy management systems, and ESOS, a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large U.K.-based organizations
  • ISO 45001 - the international standard for health and safety management, which supersedes the older OHSAS 18001 system
  • ISO 44001 - the international standard for collaborative working

Visit individual standard pages to learn more about the certification process and the specific benefits of becoming a certified organization.