Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the US. Construction workers experience physical ailments such as pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, and hands, as well as backaches on a daily basis. The average cost per workers’ compensation claim in the construction industry is $9,240.
The wear and tear of the construction industry is taking its toll on construction workers everywhere. What’s the solution? Stop problems before they start.
By making small changes in the way construction workers perform on the construction site, injury numbers can go down. As a construction worker, you can use the following tips to work ergonomically and prevent strain and injury on the job:
Use the correct tools
Using the same tool over and over again for a number of tasks can place unnecessary strain on your hands, arms, shoulders, and back. For instance, if you use an electric drill for every task, your hand may soon feel numb because of the vibrations.
Even using tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers repeatedly could leave you at risk for long-term carpal tunnel syndrome.
If at all possible, use lighter tools for smaller tasks that won’t require as much force or strain in the upper body.
Take care in heavy lifting
Construction workers are often educated about the proper way to lift heavy materials on the job. But then why are the majority of back problems not prevented on a construction site?
Change that now.
Make sure to always bend your knees when you lift instead of straining with your back. It also helps to place one foot in front of the other for balance and avoid turning or twisting from side to side, which will put unnecessary pressure on your lower back.
Take a seat
If you operate a forklift regularly, then you are in luck. Sitting down from time to time on the job will reduce strain on your ligaments and ease pressure placed on your lower back.
When working on other tasks, try to sit instead of squat, which will cause wear and tear on your knees over time. Using a stool for daily tasks could even make a difference in protecting your core, lower back, and knee joints.
Keep your arms in a neutral posture
If you find yourself flexing your wrist over and over again, this will greatly increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Try to keep your arms close to your body in a neutral position to reduce strain on your torso and back when working.
If you experience symptoms like swelling, pain, or tingling, it could signify an overuse injury. Make sure to alert your construction foreman so that you can rest that part of your body until fully recovered.
The above tips are simple enough to remember but easy to forget when you’re on a construction site. But construction workers must try in order to reduce the risk of injury. Most construction workers don’t give a second thought to how often they use certain parts of their body. Taking the time to rest, change tools, or sit will change your workday for the better.
About the author: Sylvia is an online writer who enjoys writing construction-related health articles to prevent injuries of all kinds, including truck forklift mishaps.