The Construction Industry Ergonomics


Injuries and Ergonomics

in the Construction

Industry



 












Ergonomics and the Construction Industry
By: The Working Man


In 2006 the United States alone had nearly eight million
workers employed in construction. Construction is one of the
most vital industries in most nations, and it is work that
makes great physical demands on its workers.

Construction workers often carry heavy loads, work in
confined areas and perform repetitive tasks such as reaching
overhead, stooping and lifting, grip tools and use them in
awkward positions, and the like, that make the workers
vulnerable to repetitive motion injuries, strains, sprains
and other disorders.

Some of the most common work-related musculoskeletal
disorders (WMSD) include problems such as strains, sprains,
carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, ruptured discs and other
back problems, and rotator cuff tears.

Injuries cost time and money to both construction workers
and their employers, and can lead to loss of a career or
even permanent disability for the worker if the disorder is
chronic. This is why it is so important that the tools and
work methods for construction workers use the best
ergonomics possible.

Ergonomics is defined as the science and art of fitting the
job, the tools and the workplace to the needs of the
workers. The aim of ergonomics is to reduce injury to
workers, but as a consequence it also serves to improve a
worker's efficiency, so the subject is doubly worthy of
study and funding in the construction industry, which is
considered one of the most hazardous and injury producing
industries.

In surveys of construction workers, forty percent reported
that one of the major problems of their job was working
while they were hurt. Working with injuries, especially
doing the same job that caused the injury in the first place
reduces productivity and can lead to disability and
disability claims.

Often just a small change of equipment, tools or materials
can make a big difference in injury prevention and ongoing
worker health. Ergonomic changes are seldom very expensive
and often are very simple to implement. One of the first
steps to proper ergonomics on the job site that an employer
should take is to set up a regular plan to discuss and make
decisions as to what processes and changes will best help
and the best way to implement them.

Workers also should take responsibility for their own health
and safety and avoid ergonomic risk factors, discuss problem
areas with the employer and supervisors, and be willing to
change work habits to more ergonomic methods and tools.



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