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Issue 35, September 2014 

 "Buy Quiet" now, hear later


Every day, construction workers are surrounded by noise from power tools, compressors and heavy equipment. It's no wonder that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that nearly half of all construction workers suffer hearing loss. But while noise-induced hearing loss cannot be reversed, it can be prevented


One way to attack this problem is to "buy quiet." The new NIOSH Buy Quiet web resource can help. NIOSH highlights the benefits of a Buy Quiet program, explains how to establish such a program in your workplace, and offers a video and posters to drive the message home.


NIOSH also provides exciting resources for selecting tools and machinery designed to reduce noise.  The power tools database contains noise level data for a variety of common power tools, as well as links to the NIOSH Hearing Protector Compendium to assist employers and workers in choosing appropriate hearing protection. Before buying or renting your next grinder, belt sander or hammer drill, you can visit the site and compare the stats for many commercial models.


Buying quiet offers benefits on many levels. It minimizes the impact of noise on communities, helps companies comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other noise regulations and requirements, and it reduces the potential long-term costs of audiometric testing, personal protective equipment, and workers' compensation.  


CPWR is working closely with NIOSH through its Research-to-Practice initiative to raise awareness of the problem and help contractors find and implement solutions. The Construction Solutions website explains the hazard and provides information on a variety of solutions, and CPWR's pocket-sized, water-resistant NOISE Hazard Alert card is a great handout for a toolbox talk or safety class. Copies are available free, while supplies last. Send your request to news@cpwr.com.



Pete Stafford

Executive Director    


Recently Published Journal Articles by CPWR Scholars



Exploring physical exposures and identifying high-risk work tasks within the floor layer trade. Jamie McGaha, Kim Miller, Alexis Descatha, Laurie Welch, Bryan Buchholz, Bradley Evanoff, Ann Marie Dale. Applied Ergonomics, July 2014.

Fatalities in the construction industry: findings from a revision of the BLS Occupational Injury and Illness classification system. Xiuwen Dong, Julie Largay, Xuanwen Wang, and Janice Windau. Monthly Labor Review, July 2014.


Risks of a lifetime in construction, part I: Traumatic injuries

Xiuwen Sue Dong, Knut Ringen, Laura Welch, and John Dement American Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 2014 (published online ahead of print).


Fatal falls in the U.S. residential construction industry. Xiuwen Sue Dong, Xuanwen Wang, Julie A. Largay, James W. Platner, Erich Stafford, Chris Trahan Cain, and Sang D. Choi. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 2014 (published online ahead of print).






Find the latest on regulatory efforts and Create-A-Plan to control exposures at Work Safely with Silica -- a one-stop source of information on how to prevent a silica hazard and protect workers 


eLCOSH  is the premier online source for construction health and safety information, with  research,  training materials, fact sheets and more 



Construction Solutions


Construction Solutions is a safety and health database designed with construction contractors and workers in mind - an inventory of common industry hazards paired with common-sense solutions



Visit CPWR for information on our training programs, research findings, and resources for your health and safety or research initiatives







Mapping the lives and deaths of workers: An emerging way to tell the story of occupational safety 


The Pump Handle, 7/18/2014 




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CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the 9 million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry!