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Musculoskeletal disorders a risk in construction industry

Pennsylvania construction workers are more likely to suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders than those in other occupations. These injuries happen to nerves, joints, tendons and muscles. A study that was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the number of workers suffering from these types of injuries was down to about 18,000 in 2014. This is in comparison to a 1992 figure of approximately 55,000. However, researchers cautioned that the reduction might be due to underreporting and changes in recordkeeping as well as to continuous interventions.

One of the researchers and another expert agreed that better ergonomics could help reduce the number of injuries. Other solutions might be using machinery more to lift heavy objects. Workers most often become injured through overwork, twisting, bending, awkward postures and exposure to vibrations. Older workers are more susceptible to injury as are workers who have been on the job for five years or longer.

Workers missed an average of 13 days on the job in 2014 after a musculoskeletal injury. This was up from 8 days in 1992 and could be because there is an older workforce. Workers also lost approximately $46 million in wages in 2014 because of these injuries.

After these types of on-the-job injuries, workers may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. They might want to work with an attorney to file their paperwork. People might struggle to produce documentation that shows the link between their work and the injury. An attorney may be able to assist with appeals if necessary and might also be of assistance to workers who are retaliated against on the job for filing a claim.

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