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Workplace Safety Trends in Construction: Preventing Sprains & Strains

Julie Copeland

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Preventing Injury in ConstructionIn our last post, we talked about how to prevent falls, which are the number one cause of fatalities in construction. But falls aren’t the only workplace danger. Each year in the U.S., 31,000 construction workers seek medical attention due to sprains and strains suffered on the job.

In this post, we are addressing how to avoid sprains and strains in construction. This topic addresses injuries caused by lifting, pulling, pushing, reaching, bending and other common construction labors. The pain resulting from these injuries often lasts a lifetime and affects workers' lives at work and at home.
  • Pulling Cables -- This video stars an experienced commercial electrician who is wiring a newly built commercial building. After several days of pulling long runs of heavy gauge wire and attaching wiring above his head to the ceiling, all while standing on a ladder that is too short, the electrician’s arms, neck, back and shoulders are strained enough to affect his ability to continue his work. But if his employer had used OSHA’s ergonomics guidelines, the electrician would have been standing on an elevated platform at the appropriate height for the job and he would have been using a mechanical wire puller. These small, yet crucial changes prevent the electrician’s painful injuries.
  • Laying Stone -- In this video, an experienced stonemason and her tender are using large stone pieces to build a walkway for a new two-story townhome. After several days of carrying heavy loads and kneeling and hunching while doing their work, both workers experience severe lower back and knee pain. But by complying with OSHA’s ergonomics guidelines, this pain is prevented. Using a cement mixer with wheels to mix and transport mortar, placing the stone pieces at a more appropriate height off the ground and supplying the workers with knee pads prevents the sprains and strains.
These videos show how overexertion at construction sites often leads to worker injuries. But if employers use OSHA’s ergonomics guidelines to ensure a safe, appropriate and comfortable working environment, the pain from these strains and sprains is avoided.

We hope you found these videos helpful and informative. Tune in to the Arbill Blog next week to learn about hazardous materials. In the meantime, be sure to check out our website for more information on workplace safety guidelines, solutions and programs or contact us to learn more about Arbill.

Topics: Arbill, workplace safety, Workplace Safety Trends in Construction

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