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The Effectiveness of Interventions for Preventing Injuries in the Construction Industry

A Systematic Review

      Background

      Occupational injury rates among construction workers are the highest among the major industries. A number of injury-prevention interventions have been proposed, yet the effectiveness of these is uncertain. Thus a systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for preventing occupational injuries among construction workers was conducted.

      Methods

      Seven databases were searched, from the earliest available dates through June 2006, for published findings of injury prevention in construction studies. Acceptable study designs included RCTs; controlled before–after studies; and interrupted time series (ITS). Effect sizes of similar interventions were pooled into a meta-analysis in January 2007.

      Results

      Of 7522 titles found, four ITS studies and one controlled ITS study met the inclusion criteria. The overall methodologic quality was low. No indications of publication bias were found. Findings from a safety-campaign study and a drug-free-workplace study indicated that both interventions significantly reduced the level and the trend of injuries. Three studies that evaluated legislation did not decrease the level (ES 0.69; 95% CI=−1.70, 3.09) and made the downward trend (ES 0.28; 95% CI=0.05, 0.51) of injuries less favorable.

      Conclusions

      Limited evidence was found for the effectiveness of a multifaceted safety campaign and a multifaceted drug program, but no evidence was found that legislation is effective to prevent nonfatal or fatal injuries in the construction industry.
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