It is thought that each year, around 70,000 construction workers in Great Britain suffer from an illness that they feel was caused by their work. 65% of these illnesses and injuries are musculoskeletal conditions. Construction work can be one of the most physically demanding jobs available, with role including a lot of lifting and work that can only be completed with the use of physical labour.
In the construction industry, musculoskeletal disorders have been noted as the main reason for taking time off work. As a development on this point, those who work in the construction industry are more likely to suffer from back problems. AXA PPP healthcare has released a range of tips that construction workers can use to help stay in good shape and healthy while at work.
The first tip is to think before carrying out any heavy lifting. Lifting is one of the main causes of back pain, especially on building sites. AXA PPP Healthcare recommend not being tempted to lift heavy objects manually, select a wheelbarrow or trolley or use mechanical lifting equipment as this will be safer and save time in the long run.
Secondly use the lightest tool available to carry out each job as the heavier the tool the higher risk of injury. It is also important to handle bricks safety while at work, handling them between mid-thigh and waist height. It is also beneficial to only use blocks that weigh less than 20 kg.
It is also vital to have regular clean ups to avoid slips and trips, and remove hazards and general debris. Taking regular breaks to protect your back while carrying out strenuous jobs such as shoveling, another tip would be to alternate between heavy and light tasks to reduce strain. Finally, it is also important for those in the construction industry to stretch often to work out tension and avoid back pain.