Construction site safety has improved greatly in recent years thanks to the introduction of stricter regulations and the development of more advanced protective equipment. However, construction workers in South Carolina and around the country still often suffer musculoskeletal injuries caused by awkward body postures such as bending or twisting according to a report from The Center for Construction Research and Training. The organization revealed in its report, which was published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, that this type of injury cost workers about $46 million in lost wages in 2014 alone.
Construction sector injury statistics compiled between 1997 and 2014 were studied by researchers at the Maryland-based organization, and overexertion was found to be the most common cause of musculoskeletal injuries. The back was the part of the body most often affected. To reduce the frequency of these injuries, the researchers suggest more effective education and training programs and the wider use of ergonomic tools and equipment.
The report also contains some encouraging statistics. While musculoskeletal injuries in the construction sector remain alarmingly common, the number of workers hurt in this way fell by more than two-thirds during the time period studied. Approximately 55,000 construction workers suffered such an injury in 1997, but that figure had fallen to about 18,000 by 2014. These injuries account for roughly a quarter of all workplace injuries in the construction industry and are especially common among older and more experienced workers.
While musculoskeletal injuries are rarely life-threatening, they can be extremely painful and slow to heal. Those with physically demanding jobs may face weeks or months without a paycheck after suffering such an injury, and they could face significant financial hardships should their workers’ compensation claims be denied. Attorneys could help to ensure that injured workers receive all of the benefits available to them by assisting them with their applications and helping them to gather the necessary medical evidence.