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Musculoskeletal disorders and Injuries are the main cause of permanent disability among Construction Sheet Metal Workers

sheet-metal-workersAmong all construction workers, sheet metal workers have one of the highest risks of personal injury. Some of them are injured so badly that they are permanently disabled. A recent study published in the American Journal of  Industrial Medicine provides an Analysis of Permanent Work Disability Among Construction Sheet Metal Workers. The authors Gavin H. West MPH1,*, Jaime Dawson MPH2, Claire Teitelbaum BA1, Rebecca Novello BA1, Katherine Hunting PhD, MPH2 and Laura S. Welch MD1,2  analyzed the pension records of disabled sheet metal workers to compare the causes of disabilities. They found out that 47% of the disabilities were related to Muskuloskeletal disorders (MSDs). 14% of them were related to circulatory diseases and 10 % were related to other  injuries suffered at work.

Sheet metal workers are construction workers installing, repairing and maintaining heat and AC units or installing signs, rain gutters or roofs. They have one of the highest rate of non fatal personal injury among construction workers. The study indicates that these injuries are  often related to working at heights and overexertion as well as manual material handling.

Author Information

Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Silver Spring, Maryland

George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington DC

* Correspondence to: Gavin H. West, MPH Research Analyst, CPWR, 8484 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910. E-mail: