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New, aging construction workers face notable injury risks

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Construction Accidents

Construction work has physical demands and occupational hazards, with both new and aging workers facing significant risks of injury. New workers may lack experience and training, making them more susceptible to accidents. Aging workers, meanwhile, may experience declining physical abilities and increased susceptibility to injuries.

Understanding the unique challenges and risks faced by both groups helps promote workplace safety and reduce construction-related injuries.

Challenges for new workers

New construction workers often lack experience. They may also be unfamiliar with proper safety protocols and procedures. Inexperienced workers may be more prone to accidents and injuries. This is particularly true during their initial period of on-the-job training. New workers may also feel pressure to prove themselves or keep up with more experienced colleagues. This can lead to risky behavior or failure to speak up about safety concerns.

Risks for aging workers

As construction workers age, their physical strength, agility and flexibility may decline. This increases their vulnerability to workplace injuries. Aging workers may also be more susceptible to chronic health conditions, like arthritis or back pain. These conditions can affect their ability to perform difficult tasks safely. Aging workers may also be less able to recover from injuries or accidents. This can lead to longer recovery times and potential long-term disabilities.

Recommended safety protocols

Providing comprehensive safety training and ongoing supervision can help new workers develop the skills and knowledge they need on construction sites. Implementing ergonomic design principles can help mitigate the risks associated with physical decline and age-related health conditions. Using personal protective equipment and making accommodations for aging workers may also help.

Equipment World reports that 47% of all construction-related injuries involve first-year workers. Construction workers over 60, meanwhile, had the industry’s highest costs per workers’ compensation claim. By understanding the unique needs and vulnerabilities of these groups, employers can implement targeted safety measures and interventions to reduce workplace injuries.


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