Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry


July 13, 2012

Green + Safe = safe for workers, safe for the environment

NIOSH team to recommend worker safety requirements in LEED green building certification

A team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is developing worker protection measures that would be part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building code, according to Matt Gillen, a deputy director in the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health.

NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda has identified parts of the code that could contain language to improve worker safety.

The LEED code includes third-party verification that a building has been designed and built “using strategies aimed at improving performance,” including energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of natural resources. However, the LEED program does not currently include any worker safety and health requirements.

The NIOSH team identified parts of the code that included provisions on indoor air quality and safe access and fall protection on vegetative roofs.

“Somebody has to go out and maintain the roof, and there's no fall protection or tie-offs,” Gillen said. “Workers are just told to be careful near the edge.”

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Reporter (06/28/2012)


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