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Research links inexperience and construction site injuries

UT's Construction Industry Research and Policy Center studied workers' compensation claims filed by construction workers in Tennessee. The results indicated that inexperienced workers who are new to the industry are at a higher risk of suffering construction site injuries. The CIRPC executive director says the research confirmed previous observations that new workers filed a significant percentage of benefits claims.

The director says the information that was obtained from the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system was studied along with data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The knowledge gained showed that the experience of job types of injured workers in the jobs they did when they were injured was not linked to the causes of the injuries. Regardless of their tasks at the time of injury, most claims by inexperienced workers involved muscle injuries.

CIRPC used data collected over two years and found that workers with less than one year of construction experience reported over 44% of injuries reported in the Tennessee construction industry. They also looked at workers with less than six months experience and found that those totaled more than 30%. Another revelation was that smaller construction companies with five or fewer workers reported most injuries.

Although this research might encourage employers to provide inexperienced workers with training that would limit construction site injuries, they will likely continue to occur. Workers in Tennessee are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the complicated benefits claims process. The insurance program typically pays the medical expenses immediately and lost wages after a specific number of lost workdays.

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