Every year, insurance reports, government data and news reports all point toward an inescapable conclusion: construction is a dangerous line of work. Though construction site injuries can happen suddenly, they can also involve serious damage to the back, neck, head and limbs that require long periods of recuperation.
A recent news report states that though most of those injuries can be relatively easy for a doctor to diagnose, the construction industry struggles with injuries that can be more difficult to pinpoint. Far too often, construction workers struggle unaided with mental health issues, the article states.
One expert said “construction is more focused on physical injuries. They’re easier to identify, assess and manage.”
Of course, the construction industry isn’t the only one that has unmet challenges in recognizing workers’ mental issues and then getting them the professional help they need. As North Carolina residents know well, many workers in industries across the spectrum — from high tech to health care and from retail to agriculture and to energy production and beyond — live with untreated psychological pain.
A health and safety consultant divides mental health issues into two groups, both of which can affect productivity and worker safety. He says individual mental health issues are issues that “anyone can bring from home to work” and are “largely independent of the workplace.”
The second group of mental health issues involve interactions with co-workers. These can involve matters that include bullying, harassment, vulgar language and other factors that can make a person feel psychologically unsafe, he said.
Whether the problems fall into the first or second group, they can lead to injuries when people are focused on internal matters rather than the construction work at hand.
“This is when people get hurt,” said a safety advisor. “It also leads us to a whole other field of mental health in our industry, which is the psychological impact of being injured.”
Construction workers who suffer on-the-job injuries can contact a Charlotte attorney experienced in protecting rights to compensation in workers’ compensation appeals.