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Construction workers at serious risk for overexertion injuries

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

Working in construction can be an incredibly rewarding career path. Not only is the earning potential very appealing, but Kentucky construction workers often find a great sense of satisfaction in literally building something from the ground up. However, construction work is also dangerous, and some employers are not doing anything about it. 

Even in a dangerous environment, your employer must provide you with proper training and safety gear, but that is not all. You need adequate time to rest and recover, too. If your boss continually pushes you to work more than you feel your body can take, you could be in line for a serious injury. 

Safety improvements did not help workers 

The U.S. construction industry made some serious improvements to its safety standards over the last quarter century, but its workers still suffer lots of on-the-job injuries. These largely involved work-related musculoskeletal disorders are WMSDs. 

The most common WMSD for construction workers is overexertion. This generally involves simply using your body too much in a certain manner, like continually lifting heavy loads, operating heavy machinery or overextending your stamina. Overexertion largely affects construction workers’ backs. 

Who is at risk? 

Age seems to be a factor in these types of injuries. In 1992, 6.4 percent of construction workers aged 55 to 64 years old reported WMSD injuries. By 2014, that figure rose to 11.5 percent. Other than age, you are also more likely to suffer this type of injury if you have been working in construction for at least five years. 

The overall number of WMSDs in construction decreased from 1992 to 2014, but they are still extremely prevalent. They currently account for about 25 percent of all non-fatal construction worker injuries. However, experts do not credit employers for the decrease and instead say that recordkeeping and oversight from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration forces employers to keep up with safety standards. 

The aftermath can be costly 

In 2014, the average worker suffering from a WMSD had to take about 13 days off work. However, this is just an average, so some people returned to work sooner while others spent much longer periods of time unable to earn a paycheck. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are an essential tool for recovery, especially if you received an injury while on a Kentucky construction site. These benefits provide invaluable compensation for medical care and lost wages, giving you the opportunity to rest and recover.