When a construction worker develops a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD), the employee will miss an average of 13 days of work time, according to Fox News. In 1992, a construction worker who experienced a WMSD would miss just eight days of work time. This discrepancy suggests that on-the-job musculoskeletal injuries may be getting more severe among construction workers.
Construction workers report around 18,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders every year. Close to 40 percent of these injuries affect the back. When the back is injured, treatment can be costly and can include various types of medical interventions ranging from chiropractic care to physical therapy to surgery.
All of the costs associated with work-related musculoskeletal disorders add up very quickly and these costs are very substantial. An estimated $46 million is lost every year because of treatment costs, loss of productivity, and other financial loss from musculoskeletal disorders. It is very important that injured workers who develop musculoskeletal disorders consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer so they can make a claim to get benefits and will not be left facing uncompensated loss of income, loss of earning power, and medical costs.
Musculoskeletal Disorders are Costly for Construction Workers
Workers' compensation benefits should pay for all necessary treatment for WMSDs, and should provide wage loss benefits. Partial or total disability income should be paid to workers on a temporary or permanent basis while those workers cannot work due to their work-related musculoskeletal disorder or if their earning power is reduced because the WMSD places limitations on what their body can do.
A worker who wants to get workers' compensation benefits for musculoskeletal disorders will need to prove the injury is work-related. On a construction site, the majority of this type of injury happens because of overexertion, or placing too much stress on the body. If a worker has to lift a very heavy object and hurts his back, for example, this is an example of an overexertion injury. Repetitive stress caused by doing the same motions over-and-over is also a problem that could result in a musculoskeletal disorder. Any injury impacting muscles, joints, tendons, or ligaments can fall within this category of WMSD.
Proving that a work-related musculoskeletal disorder is actually caused by work tasks can sometimes be more complicated for workers than proving other types of injuries are work-related since there may not be one specific incident that causes the injury to happen. A workers' comp lawyer can help provide proof.
It is also important for construction workers to actually report the injury in a timely manner. In 1992, around 55,000 construction workers each year developed WMSDs. Fox News indicates that at least some of the big decline in the number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders is that not all of the injuries are being recorded. If you don't report your injury, you cannot get the workers' compensation benefits you deserve to cover your losses.