You have probably attended safety training sessions that warn about hundreds of workers being affected by a single accident at work. But what you may not have been told is that many construction workers can suffer life-altering effects after witnessing a single distressing event—many of whom have no idea that they have even been affected by the incident.

In a recent study, researchers evaluated 41 male construction workers for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the workers had witnessed a fatal accident on the site. The affected workers were compared to a control group of 47 non-exposed construction workers, all of comparative ages, income, education, backgrounds and years of employment.

The study’s authors found that one out of four exposed workers showed severe PTSD symptoms within one month of the fatal accident, and that one out of eight affected workers were still showing signs of PTSD four months after the incident occurred.

The exposed group showed a significant rise in emotional disturbances and personal distress, including:

  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Insomnia (occurring both immediately and within weeks after the event)
  • Loss of interest in work and other activities
  • Anxiety
  • Physical symptoms caused by emotional distress
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms

Although PTSD is a common effect of fatal construction accidents, there is still very little acknowledgement or response to emotional injuries suffered by other workers. It is unfortunately common for employers to deny workers time off to cope with their suffering—even deny payment for emotional work injuries.

To find out if the costs of your construction site PTSD may be covered by workers’ compensation, call us today for a free consultation on your case. You can also learn more about the symptoms and treatments for this disorder by reading the related articles on this page.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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