During the warmer weather months, the construction industry is in full swing. Every year, many Tennessee workers are drawn to this field for a variety of reasons. However, a recent study points out that nearly half of claims for workers’ compensation benefits for construction injuries are generated by those who are new to the industry.

Researchers with the Construction Industry Research and Policy Center analyzed approximately 9,000 cases to determine whether there is a correlation between longevity on the job and injury rate. The study showed that workers who had less than one year of experience filed approximately 44.5% of claims. Among that figure, an estimated 30% of reported injuries came from those with less than six months on the job. The majority of those claims involved injuries to the hands, lower back, shoulders and fingers. Injuries to these areas comprised over 55% of claims.

Tennessee is not the only state to report these types of injury rates among inexperienced construction workers. Those with similar populations also reported a higher-than-average injury rate for workers with less than a year of experience. These statistics emphasize the need to ensure that those new to the construction field are carefully trained, including the need to educate employees on how to recognize potentially dangerous situations. Employers are also encouraged to pair an inexperienced worker with a seasoned mentor who can teach the new employee the skills needed to avoid injury.

This recent study reflects the findings of the steel industry a century ago. It highlights the need to educate new workers on the need to work safely regardless of one’s chosen field of employment. Those who suffer a work-related injury or illness are entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. A skilled attorney can provide guidance in ensuring that these claims are filed accurately for the maximum benefits to which one is qualified to receive.