Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries in Construction: Tips for Staying Safe on the Job
Repetitive motion injuries are a significant hazard for construction workers. According to OSHA, these incidences account for over 60% of all occupational injuries reported in the construction industry. Injuries like this can be caused by performing the same task repeatedly or using the same motion repeatedly over an extended period of time.
Research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that construction workers who perform tasks requiring repetitive motions have a significantly higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, a survey of construction workers conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training found that 77% of respondents reported experiencing pain or discomfort from performing the same task repeatedly.
The cost of treating repetitive motion injuries can be significant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of a workers' compensation claim for a repetitive motion injury in the construction industry is over $20,000.
To prevent these injuries, it is crucial that we take steps to reduce the risk.
First and foremost, take frequent breaks. Taking breaks allows your body to rest and recover, reducing the risk of injury. If possible, try to vary the tasks you perform throughout the day to prevent overuse of any particular muscle group.
Second, stretch before and after work. Stretching helps to increase flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on stretching the muscles that are used most frequently in your work.
Third, use ergonomic tools and equipment. Ergonomic tools are designed to reduce the strain on your body when performing a task repeatedly. Using these tools can help to prevent injuries.
Fourth, maintain good posture. Poor posture can increase the risk of injury. Stand or sit up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and avoid hunching over your work.
Lastly, report any pain or discomfort to your supervisor immediately. Early intervention can prevent a minor injury from becoming a major problem.
The statistics demonstrate that repetitive motion injuries are a significant concern in the construction industry. By taking frequent breaks, stretching, using ergonomic tools and equipment, maintaining good posture, and reporting any pain or discomfort, you can reduce the risk of injury and stay safe on the job. Thank you for listening and stay safe out there.