Compliance Assistance Quick Start

Follow the steps below to identify the major OSHA construction requirements and guidance materials that may apply to your jobsite. These steps will lead you to resources on OSHA's website that will help you comply with OSHA requirements and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Construction Industry

Step 1: OSHA Requirements Related to Leading Hazards at Construction Sites

The following resources will introduce you to OSHA requirements that address some of the leading hazards at construction sites.

  1. Falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. If you have employees who work six or more feet above a lower level, you must provide fall protection.
  2. Stairways and Ladders. Working on and around stairways and ladders can be hazardous. Stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among construction workers.
  3. Scaffolding. Do you use scaffolding on your jobsite?
  4. Electrical. Almost all construction employers must consider the hazards associated with electricity (i.e., electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions).
  5. Trenching and Excavation are among the most hazardous construction operations.
  6. Motor Vehicle Safety/Highway Work Zones. Do you operate motor vehicles on your jobsite or do your employees work in and around highway work zones?

NOTE: To find the OSHA standards that are most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors, visit Frequently Cited OSHA Standards. On that page, you can find the most frequently cited federal or state OSHA standards by your industry's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and the number of employees in your establishment. To generate a list of the most frequently cited standards in the construction industry as a whole, enter 23 in the NAICS code box.

NOTE: Most construction jobsites involve multiple employers (i.e., general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, etc.). If you perform work on such jobsites, you should review OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy.

Step 2: Other OSHA Requirements That May Apply to Your Jobsite

In addition to the OSHA requirements covered in Step 1, a number of other OSHA standards may apply to your jobsite. The following items can help you identify other key OSHA standards that may apply and point you to information to help you comply with those standards.

  1. Hazard Communication Standard. This standard is designed to ensure that employers and employees know about hazardous chemicals in the workplace and how to protect themselves. Employers with employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace must prepare and implement a written Hazard Communication Program and comply with other requirements of the standard, including providing Safety Data Sheets, training, and labeling.
  2. Hand and Power Tools. Hand and power tools are common at nearly every construction jobsite.
  3. Silica standard. OSHA issued this standard to curb lung cancer, silicosis, and other health effects by limiting workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
  4. Do you use concrete or masonry products on your jobsite?
  5. Do you use cranes, derricks, hoists, elevators, or conveyors on your jobsite?
  6. Do you conduct welding, cutting, or brazing at your jobsite?
  7. Confined spaces. Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces - work areas that (1) are large enough for an employee to enter, (2) have limited means of entry or exit, and (3) are not designed for continuous occupancy. These spaces, such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks, can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed before entering the space to perform work.
  8. Are you engaged in residential construction?
  9. Are you engaged in steel erection?
  10. Fire Safety and Emergency Action Planning. Construction employers are responsible for the development and maintenance of an effective fire protection and prevention program at the jobsite throughout all phases of the construction, repair, alteration, or demolition work. (29 CFR 1926.24). OSHA recommends that all employers have an emergency action plan. A plan is mandatory when required by an OSHA standard. (29 CFR 1926.35). An emergency action plan describes the actions employees should take to ensure their safety in a fire or other emergency situation.


This list is not comprehensive - additional OSHA standards may apply to your workplace. In addition, section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, known as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace that is free of recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Be sure to review OSHA's construction standards (29 CFR 1926) for requirements that may apply to your workplace.

  • You may review and print FREE copies of OSHA's construction standards from OSHA's Website. You may also order bound volumes of the standards from the Government Printing Office (GPO) at (866) 512-1800 or from GPO's website.
  • An OSHA booklet summarizes OSHA construction standards that are most frequently overlooked by employers and standards that cover particularly hazardous situations. Construction Industry Digest (PDF). OSHA Publication 2202-09R.

Step 3: Survey Your Workplace for Additional Hazards

Survey your workplace for additional hazards by:

Find information on workplace safety and health hazards, such as:

Step 4: Develop a Jobsite Safety and Health Program

OSHA's construction standards require construction employers to have accident prevention programs that provide for frequent and regular inspection of the jobsites, materials, and equipment by competent persons designated by the employers. See 29 CFR 1926.20(b).

NOTE: OSHA's Construction Focused Inspection Policy recognizes the efforts of responsible contractors who have implemented effective safety and health programs, and encourages other contractors to adopt similar programs. Contractors who have implemented effective programs are eligible for focused inspections, should they be visited by an OSHA inspector. Focused inspections, which are narrower in scope than comprehensive inspections, target the leading construction hazards. See Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry.

For help in developing a program:

Step 5: Train Your Employees

Learn about OSHA's training requirements:

  • Read the general safety training and education requirement in OSHA's construction standards. See 29 CFR 1926.21.
  • Review the specific training requirements in OSHA's construction standards. Training Requirements in OSHA Standards (PDF) OSHA Publication 2254, (2015).

Find OSHA's resources for training construction workers:

Find training classes:

Step 6: Recordkeeping, Reporting and Posting

  1. Recordkeeping. OSHA generally requires construction employers to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses (29 CFR 1904).
    • First determine if you are exempt from the routine recordkeeping requirements. If you had 10 or fewer employees during all of the last calendar year (29 CFR 1904.1), you are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements (unless asked to do so in writing by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Even if you qualify for this exemption, you must still comply with the reporting requirements noted below.
    • If you do not qualify for this exemption, you must comply with OSHA's recordkeeping requirements.
  2. Reporting Fatalities and Severe Injuries. All employers, regardless of size or industry, must report to OSHA all work-related fatalities within 8 hours. All employers must also report to OSHA all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations, and all loses of an eye within 24 hours.
  3. Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Data. An OSHA rule requires certain employers to electronically submit certain injury and illness data through OSHA's Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
  4. OSHA Poster. All employers must post the OSHA Poster (or state plan equivalent) in a prominent location in the workplace. Where employers are engaged in activities that are physically dispersed, such as construction, the OSHA Poster must be posted at the location to which employees report each day (see 29 CFR 1903.2). Download or order the OSHA Poster in English or Spanish, and other languages.
  5. Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records. An OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.1020) requires employers to provide employees, their designated representatives, and OSHA with access to employee exposure and medical records. Employers generally must maintain employee exposure records for 30 years and medical records for the duration of the employee's employment plus 30 years.

NOTE: If your workplace is in a state operating an OSHA-approved state program, state plan recordkeeping regulations, although substantially identical to federal ones, may have some more stringent or supplemental requirements, such as for reporting of fatalities and catastrophes. Contact your state program directly for additional information.

Step 7: Find Additional Compliance Assistance Information

  1. Where can I find additional information targeted to the construction industry?
  2. Where can I find a collection of OSHA resources designed for smaller employers?
  3. Do you have Spanish-speaking employees?
  4. Do you employ temporary workers?
  5. Do you employ women?
  6. Do you employ teen or young workers?
  7. Are you concerned that your employees could suffer musculoskeletal disorders at the workplace?
  8. Has OSHA developed any compliance assistance information targeted for my specific construction industry?
  9. How can I find OSHA's guidance on preparing workplaces for pandemic influenza?
  10. How do I find out about OSHA's voluntary programs and other ways to work cooperatively with OSHA?
  11. What if I still have questions?