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Construction workers at risk for musculoskeletal injuries

New Jersey construction workers are still at risk for suffering musculoskeletal injuries despite significant improvements that have been made over the last two decades. According to a study, these injuries are often caused by excessive exposure to bending, twisting and awkward body postures.

While all types of construction injuries decreased in the last 25 years, one in four nonfatal injuries that occurred on construction sites were musculoskeletal in nature. The authors of the study stated that factors for musculoskeletal injuries were age and time on the job. For example, 11.5 percent of the injuries were suffered by employees who were 55 to 64 years of age. Further, these types of injuries were more common for workers who had been working on construction sites for more than five years.

The average time away from work that employees spend following a musculoskeletal injury also increased to 13 days in 2014 from eight days in 1992. However, there are several reasons why longer rest periods may occur. For example, an employee may be ready to return to lighter work, but the employer does not have any lighter work available. More severe injuries also may take longer to recover from, especially if the worker is older.

Workers who incur an on-the-job injury may become hospitalized or may be unable to work for a short period of time while they recover. Not only can workplace injuries result in serious medical costs, but it can also result in employees being unable to pay their bills. A workers' compensation attorney may be of assistance in preparing and submitting a claim for benefits that can in some cases ease some of the financial burden.

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