Just how prevalent are back injuries in the world of construction?
That’s a great question. And we got some very eye-opening information from the University of Maryland:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees.
That’s a lot of back injuries, and skilled tradespeople are not immune.
Injuries inevitably mean pain and suffering, time away from work, and significant disruption in the lives of families and individuals of all ages.
But there’s also good news.
With a few simple precautions, you can prevent the vast majority of these on-the-job injuries. Here’s how:
- Practice Proper Lifting Techniques
- Follow All Safety Protocols
- Ask For Assistance When You Need It
- Take Short Breaks
- Use Lifting Equipment
Sound easy? It really is easy to prevent most work-related back injuries. And when you do get injured, as we pointed out in a previous post, you need great healthcare benefits.
Safety takes awareness and team effort. So let’s stick to the basics.
Practice Proper Lifting Technique
We all know this, but we need to start practicing it—lift with your legs and arms, not your back! It’s a simple technique, and it works.
Follow All Safety Protocols
Especially with ladders—the number one source of job site accidents! Slipping and falling are also high on the list. If you spill a large amount of liquid, clean it up right away or clearly mark the area.
Ask For Assistance When You Need It And Use Lifting Equipment
Always put your safety first. Ask for help lifting, moving, and carrying anything that’s too heavy for one person. And always use mechanical lifting equipment for handling heavy materials and equipment.
Take Short Breaks
Fatigue is a silent factor in too many workplace accidents. Take your breaks. Is it worth missing several months of work by wearing yourself out skipping breaks and causing a fatigue-related injury? You’re more valuable on the job than you are at home and in pain!
Always remember, stay safe out there!
Are you a tradesman looking for a new job opportunity? Or maybe you’re looking for a change of scenery on a new project or location?
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