Each year, construction workers could face more than $46 million in collective losses because they need medical treatment or are forced to take time off from work due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). While there has been a big decline in the total number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders suffered by construction workers annually, this type of injury continues to be one of the main non-fatal afflictions suffered by construction workers due to work tasks.
A work-related musculoskeletal disorder can impact your ability to continue earning a living in construction. Even if you are able to recover, you may have to take a long time off from work and to spend a lot of money on care. It is vitally important you work with an experienced attorney to find out how to get workers' comp to cover your costs and losses caused by work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
According to Fox News, 18,000 construction workers suffered recorded WMSDs in 2014. This is substantially fewer than the 55,000 workers who experienced work-related musculoskeletal disorders as a result of construction work in 1992. However, the decline may be coming from underreporting or injuries and from changes in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records. In other words, there may still be a substantial number of people who suffer from WMSDs or similar afflictions.
There are a lot of different reasons why workers develop work-related musculoskeletal disorders, but overexertion is one of the most common causes of this type of serious injury. A WMSD could impact the muscles, the ligaments, the joints, the tendons, or the nerves. In approximately 40 percent of situations where a construction worker develops a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, the back is the part of the body which is affected.
The difficulties associated with effectively treating back pain can drive up healthcare costs for injured workers and can result in construction employees missing work longer. The average number of days that a worker misses because of a WMSD is 13 days now, which is up from an average of eight days of work missed in 1992.
Employers need to do everything they can to help keep workers safe from work-related musculoskeletal disorders in order to reduce workers' comp costs, enhance productivity, and keep workers from harm. Whenever possible, it is best to remove hazardous conditions that cause work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Training employees on proper ergonomics, optimizing a workplace, and making changes such as incorporating the use of power equipment to move heavy items instead of relying solely on workers could all help to save construction workers from becoming one of the thousands to develop a WMSD. Any worker who does develop a work-related musculoskeletal disorder should be sure to get legal help from a workers' comp lawyer to make a claim and get costs covered.