A study by researchers from the Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, examined the effectiveness of employee orientation and training in reducing injuries among plumbers and pipefitters in the construction industry.
The study appeared in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Researchers searched OSHA''s "recordable" injury data and "documentable" safety and training records for six plumbing and pipefitting employers in northwestern Ohio.
During the period 1996 to 1998, 133 injuries were recorded within the duration of 2,541,432 working hours.
The most common types of injuries were cuts, lacerations and abrasions. The majority of injuries resulted from workers being struck by objects.
The injury rate significantly higher for small companies and longer working hours, according to the study. No difference was found between traveling and local workers.
Seventy-give percent of workers received safety orientations on injury prevention.
Researchers found that among workers who received safety orientations, only 3.4 percent experienced injuries, compared with 11.1 percent of workers without orientations.
As a result, safety orientations were associated with a significant reduction in injuries. Researchers concluded that proper safety orientation and training could reduce risks for occupational injuries in construction workers.
by Virginia Sutcliffe