Evaluating Disability Management in the Manitoban Construction Industry for Injured Workers Returning to the Workplace with a Disability
Winter J., Issa, M.H., Dick, K. and Regehr, J.
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The poor safety record of the construction industry raises concerns about the extent to which it is able to integrate workers disabled as a result of a workplace injury back to the workplace. A review of the literature indicates there is little empirical evidence about the status of disability management (DM) in the Canadian construction industry, specifically with respect to injured construction workers returning to the workplace with a disability. To address this limitation, a web-based survey was administered to a sample of Manitoban construction organizations to enquire about workers disabled as a result of a workplace injury in the industry, practices in place to accommodate them, and barriers to their employment. The analysis of the responses of 88 organizations showed that the majority of responding organizations employed few disabled workers. Disabilities due to musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) were the most common, followed by physical mobility and hearing impairments. Respondents saw retaining valued and experienced employees and maintaining employee morale as the main reasons for implementing a DM program. They also found the lack of suitable modified or alternate work to be the most important barrier to DM; however, they identified the provision of such work as the most common practice implemented by them, raising questions about this work’s suitability to disabled workers.