Residential Construction Industry
An estimated 1.6 million Americans are employed in the construction industry, half of which work in residential construction. Each year, roughly 38,000 construction injuries are reported, with some 21,000 involving days away from work. Many OSHA standards apply to residential construction for the prevention of possible fatalities.
The residential construction industry is addressed in specific standards for recordkeeping and the general and construction industries.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
- Temporary Enforcement Policy for Residential Construction Work in Confined Spaces. OSHA Memo, (January 6, 2016).
- Fall Protection in Construction. OSHA Publication 3146, (2015).
- Protecting Roofing Workers. OSHA Publication 3755, (2015).
- Nail Gun Safety. OSHA Safety and Health Topics Page.
- Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely | Las caídas desde escaleras pueden ser mortales: Úselas de forma segura (EPUB | MOBI). OSHA Publication 3625, (2015).
- Preventing Falls in Construction. OSHA. Also available in Spanish.
- Prevention Videos (v-Tools) | Construction Hazards. OSHA.
- Fall Protection in Residential Construction. OSHA Guidance Document.
- U.S. Labor Department's OSHA acts to protect residential roofing workers - Agency rescinds Clinton-era directive and gives workers more safeguards against falls. OSHA News Release, (December 22, 2010).
- OSHA Dictionaries (English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English). OSHA. Includes over 2,000 general OSHA, general industry, and construction industry terms.
- Construction. OSHA eTool. Contains information that helps workers identify and control the hazards that cause the most serious construction-related injuries. Also available in Spanish.