Back-related injuries are one of the most common types of injuries that construction workers face. In fact, reports show that 30% of construction workers suffer from back issues at some point in their careers.
Some of these injuries can be sustained over a long period. By taking the right precautions, it can be possible to avoid these injuries. Here are some of the common causes of back issues in construction and you can protect yourself.
The common cause of back problems in construction is heavy lifting. Lifting heavy objects and loads is often unavoidable in construction, however, this doesn’t mean that injury cannot be avoided.
Adopting the right posture when lifting can often avoid injury. You should always bend at the knees and not at the waist when lifting something from the floor. Try to keep your back straight and avoid twisting your body awkwardly while lifting.
If a load is too heavy, two or more people should help lift it. Equipment such as scissor lifts and hoists may be able to prevent the need for some manual lifting jobs. Construction workers may also be able to wear back support for certain jobs to minimize injury.
Lifting training and appropriate equipment should always be supplied by an employer. If you’ve sustained a back injury from lifting and you don’t feel you’ve been given adequate training or equipment, you could consider claiming compensation – there are personal injury attorneys who’ll gladly take on your claims. It is recommended that you take a break from heavy lifting jobs if you get injured so that your back can recover (continuing with heavy lifting could aggravate the injury and make it worse – and possibly permanent).
Back injuries can sometimes be caused by vibrations when using certain machinery. This could include operating power tools or even operating trucks.
Reducing such back injuries involves finding ways to reduce vibrations. This is something an employer should think about when sourcing machinery – there are a lot of modern low-vibration tools that can prevent repetitive strain injuries. There may even be cases where remote-control machinery can be used instead (such as remote control breakers instead of manual breakers).
When vibrations aren’t avoidable, it may be possible to still limit injury by ensuring that workers take regular breaks from such tasks. Once aches start to set in, it’s usually a sure sign that equipment is causing injury.
A commonly overlooked cause of back problems in construction is standing up for long periods. This can cause strain on the lower back, particularly when wearing uncomfortable footwear.
While good work boots should be able to reduce injury from trauma, it’s important that they also offer comfortable support. Regular breaks from standing activities can also prevent back problems.