CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
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Iowa City IA 52242
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UI researchers surveying Iowa construction workers' injuries
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Occupational injury researchers at the University
of Iowa College of Medicine are beginning a study of injuries among construction
workers who are treated in emergency rooms at three Eastern Iowa hospitals.
The four-year study, conducted by occupational safety experts at the
UI Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC), will attempt to identify injury
patterns among specific trades in the construction industry.
Injured construction workers who receive emergency treatment at the
UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, and Mercy Medical Center and St.
Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, will be invited to take part in the study.
In the weeks following their emergency treatments, construction workers
who agree to participate will be interviewed over the telephone. Researchers
will gather information about each worker's injury, treatment, occupation,
work history and treatment outcome.
Each participant then will be contacted one year later to assess any
long-term effects of their injuries, employer accommodations regarding
their injuries, and the worker's current job status. UI researchers hope
to enroll 1,200 men and women for the study during the next three years.
Hospital personnel assisting with the study are: Jeffry Gauthier, administrative
assistant in emergency medicine in the UIHC emergency department; Karen
Harmon, trauma center nurse at Mercy Medical Center; and Laura Sagers,
emergency room manager at St. Luke's Hospital.
Information collected during the study will be compared to similar data
gathered from construction workers seen at the George Washington University
Hospital Emergency Department in Washington, D.C.
"The differences between urban and rural settings will provide
an opportunity to study risk factors specific to each region and to suggest
possible strategies for reducing the number and severity of injuries incurred
by workers in this high-risk occupation," says Dr. Craig Zwerling,
UI associate professor of preventive medicine and environmental health
and director of the IPRC.
The study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and the Center to Protect Workers' Rights.