Study Examined Most Common Cause of Construction Injury Claims

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By Karen Edwards, RCS Editor.

Researchers at Nationwide examined the most common and costly cause of workers’ compensation claims.

PropertyCasualty360 recently published the results of a Nationwide Insurance study on the most common cause of construction injury claims. They studied the last five years and the more than 10,000 workers’ compensation claims to try to gain a better understanding of the causes of these accidents.

The results showed that the most common cause of injuries was falls from elevated surfaces, representing more than 30 percent of their construction claim payments.

In fact, OSHA lists falls as one of construction’s fatal four for fatalities on work sites, coming in at 38% or 370 of the 991 deaths that were recorded in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide’s data indicated that falls from elevated surface were more costly than other injuries because they resulted in more time away from work, damage to multiple areas of the body and payment of short- and long-term disability leave.

Linda Stueber, Nationwide’s VP of Construction, told PC360 that “our data shows that falls from elevated surfaces can often lead to serious and costly worker injuries, so it’s crucial for construction companies and their workers to implement regular safety training — and put that training to practice.”

Here are tips to ensure your workers are staying safe on the job:

  • Regularly inspect equipment, repairing or replacing as needed
  • Develop written policies and safety plans to reduce the use of ladders and make other safe options available
  • Have regular safety conversations and meetings with workers
  • Consider using scaffolds, scissor lifts or other elevated platforms that are equipped with guard rails or other safety gear
  • Take advantage of the safety resources that are offered by industry associations such as the NRCA’s Risk Management resources

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