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Common injuries for construction workers

Louisiana construction workers are at greater risk for musculoskeletal injuries than those who are employed in other industries according to a study published in "Occupational and Environmental Medicine." Construction workers sustain these injuries through overexertion, twisting, bending and awkward postures. They may also be exposed to excessive vibrations. These conditions result in injuries to their tendons, muscles, nerves and joints. In 2014, construction workers in private industry lost a total of $46 million in wages as a result of being out of work due to injury.

Overall, injuries, in general, have declined among construction workers. There were 55,000 injuries in 1992, but in 2014, there were only around 18,000. However, the age of workers and time on the job are risk factors for increased injuries, and these older workers also tend to have longer recovery times. In 2014, the average number of days missed due to these types of injuries was 13 while in 1992, it was only 8 days.

Researchers suggested a number of ways to reduce the injury rate. One was adjusting how work is done. This might include using machines to move heavy loads. Better ergonomic conditions and ensuring that workers do not lift heavy objects when they are alone may also help.

People who are injured on the job might not be aware they are eligible for workers' compensation. Workers might be told by their employers that they are not eligible or be intimidated in some other way. Immigrant workers might feel particularly vulnerable. However, the financial impact of an on-the-job injury, including lost wages and medical costs, can be catastrophic. Individuals who are injured at work might want to discuss their rights with an attorney. Intimidation or retaliation for applying for compensation might take the form of demotion or termination. Workers who face this kind of action might also want to talk to a lawyer.

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