Tips for construction workers

Small business insight

1 January 2018

Annually, around 70,000 construction workers in Great Britain suffer from an illness they believe was caused by their work and 65% of these cases were musculoskeletal conditions*.

In the construction industry, musculoskeletal disorders are the main reason for taking time off work and if you’re working in the construction industry, you’re even more likely to suffer from a bad back.

Thinking of how you carry out your work and adjusting a few bad habits can greatly reduce your risk of injuring yourself.

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Think before you lift

Heavy lifting is one of the main causes of back pain, especially on building sites. Don’t be tempted to lift big weights manually. Use a wheelbarrow or a trolley to move things like bags of cement, and get mechanical lifting equipment for heavier weights. It will be much safer and save you time in the long run.

Use lighter tools

The heavier your tools, the greater the risk of injury. Use the lightest tool available for the job and get someone to help you if you have to use heavy equipment.

Handle bricks safely

If you are laying bricks, aim to handle them between mid-thigh and waist height. If possible, only use blocks that weigh less than 20kg.

Keep the site tidy

Reduce the risk of slips and trips by having regular clean-ups to get rid of hazards and general debris.

Take a break

Regular breaks are important to protect your back when you are doing strenuous jobs such as shovelling. Also try switching between light and heavy tasks to ease the strain on your body.

Stretch

Stretching exercises can help to work out the tensions in your back and prevent pain.

* www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/

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