Construction workers already face some of the most serious risks of critical injuries and fatalities on the job, a new study shows that the risk of traumatic spinal injuries is highest for workers in the construction and transportation injuries.

The project, led by researchers at the University of Sydney, looked at more than 800 cases of people who were admitted to hospitals specifically for workplace injuries tied to their spine over the course of three years.

Most of the victims were male and the average age of the workers with spinal injuries was 47. The researchers shared in their results presentation that the best way to combat the problem was a combination of prevention and regulation to reduce the overall risk of injuries.

The study found, for example, that more than 50 percent of work-related spinal injuries occurred with construction workers. Most of those accidents were falls from height, such as scaffolding or ladders. There are many different safety measures in place to reduce the risk of accidents on construction sites, but falls continue to be a leading source of injuries and fatality.

Workers who sustain a serious spinal injury on the job might not ever be able to recover in full. Getting medical treatment is a top priority for these affected employees, who might not realize that the hours immediately after an accident can be critical for establishing a treatment plan.

Most labor in the construction industry is physical in nature, meaning that someone who sustains a life-changing spinal injury might have to find a new field of work if they can go back to work at all.

While spinal injury treatments have advanced in the last several decades, those who suffer these injuries are still at risk for some of the most serious complications in addition to long recovery periods. Going to physical therapy and addressing how the spinal injury impacts the person’s day to day life are important methods of managing a construction employee post-accident.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is of the utmost importance following a construction accident with suspected spinal injury. The claims process can be difficult and frustrating, even for those workers who assume their claim is straightforward. Hiring the right lawyer is an essential piece of the puzzle. A San Francisco workers’ comp lawyer can help.

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