All construction workers know that they work in a particularly risky field.
In their training and from their experience on the job, they often know what hazards and factors contribute to the chance of a worksite accident. However, a new study suggests that there is another factor workers should be aware of – the time during their shift that they face the highest risk of injury.
When are workers more likely to suffer injuries?
A new study, according to Occupational Health & Safety, is one of the first to examine the times when injured workers reported they suffered an injury or accident on the job. Oregon State University (OSU) conducted the study and found that there could be a pattern.
The researchers reviewed more than 12,000 claims from between 2007 and 2013 and determined that construction workers were more likely to suffer injuries:
- Within the first four hours of work
- Especially during the fourth hour of work
The rate of work injuries generally decreased after the fourth hour ended.
Why is the risk higher at these times?
It is difficult to say why the first four hours of work carry such a high risk for construction workers. The study does not elaborate on the reasons, and there are several risk factors that workers face on a project site.
However, this portion of a worker’s shift could hold a higher risk of injury for a few reasons, including:
- Workers’ bodies and muscles are still adjusting as they begin their shift
- Workers might suffer fatigue, especially in the fourth hour of work before a meal period
There are several reasons why injuries might be more likely to occur in the first half of one’s shift. Regardless of these reasons, workers must consider this new information carefully.
And why is this information important?
EHS Daily Advisor indicates that awareness and education are two of the first steps to preventing workplace injuries. That is the primary reason that this information is important for Maryland construction workers to take into account.
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, workers can focus on safety and injury prevention efforts on worksites as long as they are aware of the risks they face. Therefore, if workers know the details of work injuries – including when they are most likely to occur – it can help workers to be vigilant and improve their safety.