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High injury risks for construction workers

According to a recent study, construction workers in Kentucky and throughout the U.S. are at a high risk to suffer workplace injuries to joints, tendons, nerves and muscles. This news comes in spite of the many safety improvements that have been made during the last 25 years.

Bending, twisting, overworking, awkward body postures and excessive exposure to vibrations are contributors to work-related musculoskeletal disorders, or WMSDs, the costs of which can be expensive. The researchers estimate that total wage loss for construction workers was approximately $46 million in 2014.

The results of the study showed that overexertion was the main cause of WMSDs. The part of the body most affected by WMSDs was the back, which accounts for over 40 percent of such injuries.

Data from the 1992 to 2014 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the 1997 to 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics and the 1992 to 2014 Current Population Survey was examined for the study. The information showed that the number of construction-related WMSDs declined to a little over 18,000 in 2014 from 55,000 in 1992 and that they accounted for 25 percent of non-fatal construction injuries in the study period. Changes in record keeping requirements issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the constant intervention efforts in construction and the trend of underreporting potential illnesses and injuries in the industry all contributed to the reduction in reported WMSDs.

Workers who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers' compensation to accommodate lost wages, medical expenses and more. A personal injury attorney may help a client with the filing process and/or any potential appeals.

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