Important Construction Reminders

Regulations enforced by the Iowa Division of Labor (DOL) touch all phases and types of construction. A brief summary of how DOL interacts with construction projects appears below.

The DOL staff knows that in many cases proper design, and appropriate choice of equipment and materials can avoid significant costs and delays. As a result, DOL prefers to answer your questions before construction, rather than conduct enforcement activity afterward.  

Plumbing, HVAC/R, Hydronics, and Mechanical Professionals

Iowa law requires contractors to be licensed with the Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board and also registered with the Iowa Division of Labor.  "Contractor" means a person or entity that provides plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems services on a contractual basis and who is paid a predetermined amount under that contract for rendering those services.


A qualified inspector should determine if asbestos is present before a renovation, remodel, or demolition project gets started.  An asbestos abatement company must hold an asbestos permit issued by the DOL and all employees working on an asbestos project must be licensed. You can search for permitted companies on our web page. DOL also enforces occupational health standards designed to protect employees from asbestos.

Boilers and Unfired Steam Pressure Vessels

Unfired steam pressure vessels and boilers must be inspected and permitted by DOL in most buildings excluding single family dwellings. To avoid costly and unnecessary delays, notify DOL of all unfired steam pressure vessel and boiler installations and determine the requirements before installation.

Construction Contractor Registration

Construction companies working in Iowa are required to be registered with DOL, and out-of-state companies must post a bond. For purposes of this requirement, construction is broadly defined. You can search for registered companies on our webpage.

Elevators and Escalators

Elevators and escalators must be inspected and permitted by DOL except in single family dwellings. To avoid costly and unnecessary delays, notify DOL of all elevator and escalator installations and determine the requirements before installation.

Bidder Preference

The DOL enforces requirements governing bidder preferences for public works contracts. The requirements impact the manner of contracting by governmental entities and establish recordkeeping requirements for certain contractors.


Construction work has a high rate of injury and illness. No one wants a worker to experience a significant injury, illness, or fatality.  Iowa OSHA, which is part of the DOL, has a variety of programs to reduce construction site hazards.

Child Labor

Workers under the age of 16 are not allowed on construction sites, and the construction work that may be performed by youth aged 16 and 17 is limited.