Work-related injuries in residential and drywall carpentry

Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2003 Jun;18(6):479-88. doi: 10.1080/10473220301422.


Findings are reported on the first two years of an active injury surveillance project designed to test the utility of active injury investigations in identifying causes of injury among a large cohort of carpenters who did residential building and drywall installation. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injuries were reported by participating contractors. Injured union carpenters were interviewed by experienced journeymen trained in a standard questionnaire protocol. Enumeration of workers and hours worked were provided by the union. These data allowed the definition of a dynamic cohort of 4429 carpenters, their hours worked, detailed information on the circumstances surrounding recordable injuries, and possible preventive measures from the perspectives of the injured worker and an experienced journeyman investigator. The overall estimated injury rate (16.9 per 200,000 hours worked) was considerably higher than recent Bureau of Labor Statistics rates despite less than complete ascertainment of injuries. Injuries most commonly involved being struck by or against something, manual materials handling injuries, and falls. Manual materials handling injuries often involved very heavy objects or tasks and were injuries carpenters most often reported needs for adequate help and coordinated team work to prevent. Falls from heights occurred from a variety of surfaces and were not just injuries of inexperience. Carpenters reported the need for more attention to common fall protection practices, such as the use of more toe boards and guardrails. Poor housekeeping was involved in the majority of same level falls, as well as some manual materials handling injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Risk
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control