It is a common scene at construction sites across the country, workers carrying, lifting, pushing, holding or pulling large pieces of equipment or heavy loads. While many of these workers view this kind of activity as a critical component of their job, they may be unknowingly subjecting themselves to serious neck, back and spine injuries.
Performing this type of work on a regular basis for prolonged periods of time can result in very serious and even debilitating injuries.
Today’s post will take a closer look at some of the more common construction site injuries.
Shoulder and Neck Injuries
Construction workers who frequently place great stress on their shoulders often suffer an injury known as bursitis. Bursitis is caused by an inflammation of the bursa, tiny fluid sacs located between the tendons and bones in the shoulder. An inflamed or swollen bursa makes shoulder movement painful or even impossible.
Another common injury suffered by construction workers who frequently place great stress on their shoulders is tendinitis. This rather painful condition is caused by inflamed shoulder tendons and can make it difficult to move the shoulder.
Located between the vertebrae of the spine are small gelatinous discs that enable you to move. When you bend, lift or stretch (upward or downward), these discs are compressed by the back muscles and ligaments.
If a construction worker bends over for a prolonged period of time (months or even years), the discs can become weak and eventually rupture. This results in herniated discs, a very painful condition.
In addition to herniated discs, construction workers also frequently suffer serious muscle pulls or strains in their backs. These pulls or strains can be caused by sudden motions or repetitive motions.
If you have suffered any type of workplace injury, you should strongly consider seeking the necessary medical treatment.
Workers at construction sites across the country report to work every day, ready to begin their vigorous day of lifting, carrying, holding, pulling or pushing heavy loads or large pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, many of these workers put their hard work ahead of their own health, and unknowingly subject themselves to the risk of debilitating neck, back and spine injuries.
Today’s post will continue this analysis by briefly exploring a few measures/solutions that both employers and employees can take to greatly reduce the number of serious construction site injuries. If implemented correctly, these measures can significantly lessen the amount of stress placed upon the neck, back and spine, as well as lessen the frequency and duration of this stress.
One way to lessen the number of neck, back and spine injuries on a work site is to consider using more “user-friendly” building materials/components. This means materials that can be handled without extensive exertion, repetitive motion or uncomfortable body posture.
For example, it may be beneficial to switch to half-weight bags of concrete or lighter construction blocks. (Such a move is naturally subject to both cost and approval by various parties, including engineers, architects, contractors and clients.)
Another way to lessen the number of neck, back and spine injuries is to consider using construction tools/devices that greatly reduce the need for workers to unnecessarily carry, lift, push, hold or pull heavy materials.
Some of these tools include:
• Specialized handles and grips
• Rolling carts and dollies
• Stands and jacks
• Lifts (mechanical, vacuum and hydraulic)
(As before, such a move is subject to both cost and approval by various parties.)
• Simple Solutions for Lifting, Holding and Handling Materials (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)