Construction workers in Pennsylvania and across the nation still face a serious risk of suffering an on-the-job injury despite advances in protective equipment and stricter safety regulations and protocols. A report published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine reveals that the nation’s construction workers are particularly likely to suffer musculoskeletal injuries caused by bending, twisting or other awkward body postures. These injuries cost workers about $46 million in lost wages in 2014 according to the report.
Researchers from the Center for Construction Research and Training say that more than 40 percent of the musculoskeletal injuries suffered by construction workers affect the back, and overexertion is the cause in most cases. The researchers studied data compiled between 1997 and 2014, and they concluded that the number of injuries could be reduced significantly if the tools and equipment used by construction workers were designed with ergonomics as well as functionality in mind.
While the researchers maintain that much can still be done to improve construction site safety, they also observed that the number of musculoskeletal injuries suffered by construction workers fell by more than two-thirds between 1992 and 2014. Sprains and strains accounted for about a quarter of all non-fatal construction sector workplace injuries, and they were particularly common among workers over the age of 55 with more than five years of experience.
Individuals can also suffer musculoskeletal injuries while performing domestic chores or playing sports, and employers worried about soaring overheads sometimes contest this kind of workers’ compensation claim. When employers or their insurance companies allege that an injury is not work-related, attorneys with experience in this area could advocate on behalf of injured workers during workers’ compensation hearings. Medical evidence is often crucial during these proceedings, and attorneys may base their arguments on examinations performed by specialists and the results of comprehensive testing.