A new study reports that U.S. construction workers continue to be at high risk for strains and sprains, according to Fox News.
Strains and sprains, also known as work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), can be costly to both workers and employers. Researchers with the Center for Construction Research and Training estimated the wage loss for construction workers in 2014 alone was $46 million.
Days away from work due to WMSDs increased from an average of 8 days in 1992 to an average of 13 days in 2014. Rates of injury were highest among:
- Construction helpers
- Heating and air conditioning mechanics
- Cement masons
- Sheet metal workers
Age and time on the job were also risk factors. Researchers found that:
- Injuries were more common in workers who had been on the job for more than five years
- The proportion of WMSD cases for construction workers age 55 to 64 rose from 6.4 percent to 11.5 percent
Occupational health researcher Dr. June Spector suggested ways to reduce the risk of injury for construction workers, including:
- Ensuring that workers aren’t alone when they have to lift a heavy load or do repetitive tasks over long periods of time
- Ergonomics training
- Increased use of power equipment for the heaviest moving and lifting tasks