Study: Construction workers still have high injury and illness rates

A new study conducted by the American Public Health Association (APHA) indicates that despite improved safety measures, U.S. construction workers still have a high risk of workplace injuries and an increased risk of occupational illness and death.

Researchers examined data from a number of national sources and concluded that the average American construction worker has a 75 percent chance of suffering a debilitating injury across a 45-year career. Data also indicate that one out of every 200 workers is at risk for being fatally injured at the workplace.

"While great strides have been made in reducing construction injuries and illnesses, the numbers are still stubbornly high," Pete Stafford, executive director of Center for Construction and Research Training (CPWR), said in an APHA news release."Workers and their families suffer the consequences of disabling injuries, and this research shows it's far too common."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several dangerous factors affect the health of construction workers, including working at height, noise, dust, confined spaces, electricity, and the use of power tools and equipment.

Workers who wear appropriate safety products, such as fall protection, dust masks or respirators, ear plugs, and work gloves, can greatly reduce the risk of injury or work-related illness.

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