Q&A on the News

Q: In the AJC business section on Nov. 26, there is a “Biz Snapshot” article concerning on-the-job injuries in various work environments. No. 3 on the list was truss manufacturing. It tied with No. 4, police protection. I have to wonder, why is truss manufacturing so risky?

—Suzanne Sports, Peachtree City

A: Truss manufacturing had an incidence rate of 10.2 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities program. The national average was 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.

Truss manufacturing involves cutting dimensional lumber and using metal connector plates to assemble that lumber into roof truss and floor truss configurations, which are used as the structural framework for buildings, according to the Structural Building Components Association.

The most common “event or exposure” in this industry is contact with an object/equipment, which occurs at a rate of 174 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers, according to the Bureau’s data. The most common injuries include cuts, lacerations and punctures, sprains, strains and tears, bruises, contusions and fractures.

The SBCA plans to research the injury rate, which is variable but was “higher than normal in 2016,” an SBCA spokesperson told Q&A on the News via email. In 2015, the incident rate was approximately half that of 2016, the spokesperson added.

The truss industry has an in-plant safety program called Operation Safety and online training courses for new employees.

Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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