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Recession May Have Contributed to Fewer Construction Worker Injuries

According to new research, the recession may have contributed to a decline in the number of orthopedic injuries in the construction workforce.

The findings of the study were presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual conference in San Francisco recently. The study focused on worker injuries in Tampa, Florida, and correlated the numbers to the employment rate during the same period of time. The researchers found that there was definitely a decline in the number of worker injuries corresponding with a decline in employment rates.

Tampa was one of the cities that benefited heavily from the construction boom, and not surprisingly, when the recession hit, this was one of the regions that saw a quick drop in the employment rate.

Researchers also found that cases of orthopedic trauma dropped from 2,065 in 2007 to 1,743 in 2009. That was a decline of 16%. During the same time, the unemployment rate in Tampa increased from 4% to 10.7%.

The decline in construction worker employment was especially sharp during this time. Construction worker jobs dropped by a staggering 36% between 2006 and 2009. The number of new construction projects also dropped with an 80% decline in the number of county building permits that were issued during this period of time.

According to the researchers, there can be many unexpected effects on worker health and safety in a poor economic climate. For instance, workers may take fewer risks, including work-related risks during a recession. They also tend to take much better care of themselves, during a recession. New York construction accident attorneys find those facts very intriguing.

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