What keeps construction workers from reporting injuries?

Construction -- Aug 2013
Photo: Dodge Data & Analytics

Silver Spring, MD – Fear of negative consequences such as losing work, becoming ineligible for incentives or being labeled a “complainer” may keep construction workers from reporting injuries, according to a new study from the AFL-CIO-affiliated Center for Construction Research and Training.

In a survey of 135 construction workers, 27 percent admitted they failed to report a work-related injury. Reasons included viewing the injury as “small” or part of the job, fear of not being hired again or losing out on incentive prizes, and not wanting to take time off for medical care. Another concern was that too much paperwork would be involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim.

To improve injury reporting, researchers recommended creating a climate of open communication with an emphasis on problem-solving.

The study was published in August in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.