Safe and Healthy Construction Sites


Author: Nadiuska Sobalvarro, On-Site Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Miller & Long

The construction industry has always been focused on physical safety hazards…and for good reason. Construction sites, unlike industrial sites, change from day to day and even from moment to moment. A hazard at one location today will be gone tomorrow or moved across the job site. Superintendents, foremen, skilled tradespersons, and safety professionals must be alert at every moment to recognize, evaluate, and control safety hazards in real-time. This constant lookout for fall hazards, falling object hazards, crane and equipment hazards, traffic hazards, etc., has caused the construction industry to trail behind its general industry counterpart, industrial hygiene.

Industrial hygiene is defined as “the science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or among the citizens of the community.” In construction, this typically pertains to all work-related environmental factors that could impact a worker’s or the public’s health. More specifically, emphasis on hazardous dust and chemicals, ergonomics, heat, noise, etc., are a focus for construction firms with advanced safety programs, like Miller & Long.

We invest heavily in our robust Safety Department through extensive safety training, cutting-edge safety equipment, establishing industry-leading practices, and industrial hygiene. At the moment, there seem to be very few contractors in the country that are devoted to addressing industrial hygiene concerns and educating the industry on construction health hazards.\

At Miller & Long, our partnership with insurance carriers, construction peers, government organizations, and other industrial hygiene experts allows us to pioneer industrial hygiene practices for our own workforce and the construction industry as a whole. Moreover, Miller & Long is the only concrete contractor in the Mid-Atlantic with a dedicated industrial hygiene specialist on staff whose primary responsibility is recognizing, evaluating, and controlling industrial hygiene hazards.

Our Safety Department and safety managers immediately address potential health hazards as well as employee concerns. When necessary, our industrial hygiene specialist responds to any employee who may have a concern about dust, chemicals, heat, noise, etc., and utilizes the scientific method to determine what hazards may be present and determine what, if any, corrective actions are required.

We look forward to our ever-improving safety program and hope that our experience will help other companies in the industry to do the same. If you have any questions about our safety program, and the initiatives we are undertaking, please contact Vice President of Safety Frank Trujillo at