Focus Four for Health: An Initiative to Address Four Major Construction Health Hazards

The key target audience is construction contractors. The key messages are the following:

  1. health hazards can have significant impacts on workers and businesses;
  2. efforts to reduce health hazards typically lag behind those for safety hazards on many construction worksites; and
  3. health hazards can be effectively controlled, just as safety risks are.

The guidance uses the successful Occupational Safety and Health Administration Focus Four program as a template. That program targets the four top construction safety hazards. This guidance complements that effort by presenting four prevalent health hazards for targeted attention:

  1. manual material handling,
  2. noise,
  3. air contaminants and
  4. high temperatures.

The guidance document provides a section for each health hazard to describe why each is important and to provide practical and specific steps that employers and construction stakeholders can take to recognize, reduce and control exposures.

Partnerships represented an important aspect of the Focus Four approach. The guidance document concludes by asking, What can you do? It includes ideas for those groups that impact and influence construction employers and employees: trade associations, labor unions, insurance providers, state and federal OSHA offices, industrial hygienists, safety professionals and consultants. We hope these groups find the guidance presented here helpful to further improve health conditions in the industry.