Renovation projects in or near hospitals require contractors to work by a specific set of protocols in order to protect the health of patients, many of whom are extremely vulnerable to infection.

According to recent research, though, some construction companies that take on these types of projects are not providing adequate training to their workers and subcontractors on how to avoid creating the jobsite conditions that could have a negative impact on patients.The dust and debris created by both renovation activities and by nearby construction can carry contaminants into patient areas, promoting the growth of pathogenic fungi.

Spurred by previous studies that indicated patients were becoming ill and even dying as the end result of dust generated by construction activity, researchers from Washington State University and Clemson University surveyed what they say are the top healthcare contractors in the United States to find out the details on their training program.The survey’s 129 participants — managers and field supervisors — were gleaned from eight firms from Building Design+Construction’s 2017 list of the top healthcare contractors in the United States. That year, those companies completed 25% of all U.S. healthcare projects.