The construction industry is clearly one of the most hazardous employment options. This is partly because of the substantial range of potential injuries construction workers face in California and across the country. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published the results of a survey conducted to determine the role of six particular health risks in construction workers’ accidents.
Falls are reportedly the primary cause of occupational fatalities in the construction industry, and researchers studied the additional impact of health issues on the existing physical and chemical hazards. The six health-related risk behaviors include smoking, binge drinking, smokeless tobacco use, not wearing seat belts, inactivity during leisure time and lack of sufficient sleep. Participants of 38 occupations in the construction industry responded to the survey, from laborers to project managers.
The results showed all these behaviors, except insufficient sleep, were prevalent among roofers, carpenters and construction laborers. Binge drinking is a significant problem among installers and repairers of electrical power lines and roof workers. Earthmover operators and maintenance workers showed elevated rates of smokeless tobacco usage. NIOSH commented that managers in this industry could, by example, bring about positive behavioral changes in their work crews.
Victims of construction accidents in California can pursue workers’ compensation benefits claims, regardless of whether any of these six health issues played a role in the cause of the injuries. It is a no-fault system that covers the medical expenses and lost wages of injured workers. The claims process could be complicated for those who attempt to navigate it without the support and guidance of an attorney with experience in this field of the law.