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Work-related injuries in residential and drywall carpentry.

Lipscomb HJ; Dement JM; Li L; Nolan J; Patterson D
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2003 Jun; 18(6):479-488
Findings are reported on the first two years of an active injury surveillance project designed to test the utility of active injury investigations in identifying causes of injury among a large cohort of carpenters who did residential building and drywall installation. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injuries were reported by participating contractors. Injured union carpenters were interviewed by experienced journeymen trained in a standard questionnaire protocol. Enumeration of workers and hours worked were provided by the union. These data allowed the definition of a dynamic cohort of 4429 carpenters, their hours worked, detailed information on the circumstances surrounding recordable injuries, and possible preventive measures from the perspectives of the injured worker and an experienced journeyman investigator. The overall estimated injury rate (16.9 per 200,000 hours worked) was considerably higher than recent Bureau of Labor Statistics rates despite less than complete ascertainment of injuries. Injuries most commonly involved being struck by or against something, manual materials handling injuries, and falls. Manual materials handling injuries often involved very heavy objects or tasks and were injuries carpenters most often reported needs for adequate help and coordinated team work to prevent. Falls from heights occurred from a variety of surfaces and were not just injuries of inexperience. Carpenters reported the need for more attention to common fall protection practices, such as the use of more toe boards and guardrails. Poor housekeeping was involved in the majority of same level falls, as well as some manual materials handling injuries.
Work-practices; Workers; Injuries; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Health-hazards; Health-protection; Health-surveys; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Risk-factors; Job-analysis; Surveillance-programs; Risk-analysis; Lost-work-days; Back-injuries; Absenteeism; Eyes; Cutting-tools; Tools; Manual-materials-handling; Author Keywords: Active Surveillance; Injury; Residential Construction; Carpentry; Drywall
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division