Scaffolders at Risk of Premature Death

July 12, 2018

It is well known that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous for workers in the United States. Approximately 150,000 construction workers are injured at work each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Many of these workers are injured while working on scaffolds, elevated platforms utilized during the construction and repair of buildings. The BLS reports that, on average, 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries are attributable to scaffolding accidents each year.

A recent study suggests that the industry is dangerous not only in terms of workplace accidents and injuries, but also in terms of physical activity. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was conducted by a doctor in the medical department at the Free University of Amsterdam.

Researchers analyzed data from 33 existing studies of almost 200,000 subjects. They were studying the health consequences of highly physically demanding jobs, such as scaffolding. They found that high levels of occupational physical activity correlates to increased risk of premature death.

Occupational Physical Activity & Premature Death

According to the study, men who work physically demanding jobs are 18 percent more likely to die young than those who do not. However, the opposite is true for female workers, who are more likely to die young if they work sedentary jobs.

It is generally recommended that everyone engage in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. However, the same may not be true for those who are physically active for the entire work day. This study indicates that those who work physically strenuous jobs do not need as much exercise as those who do not. Therefore, they should consider adjusting their daily amount of exercise accordingly.

Conflicting Opinions

However, some academics have found the study to be misleading. They point out that workers in the construction industry face many risks other than too much physical activity. Construction workers often use dangerous machinery, face possible exposure to hazardous chemicals, and work from heights, just to name a few of the risks.

Others also note that workers whose jobs require high levels of physical activity (such as construction workers, factory workers and health care workers) are also under stress due to finances or job security. Critics of the study therefore conclude that construction workers’ premature deaths cannot be solely attributed to high levels of physical activity.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Injured Workers’ Recover Benefits

If you have been injured on-the-job, or your loved one was fatally injured from on-the-job injuries, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We are knowledgeable about Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law and have been helping injured workers and their families for over 35 years. We represent clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.

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