In the construction industry, back disorders account for almost 20% of workplace injuries and illnesses which makes time off work necessary. Those injuries have higher chances of re-occurring due to the physically intensive nature of the jobs. As workplace accident lawyers will tell you, the injuries can increase in severity depending on the nature of the job and the age and health of the worker.
The Unique Challenges Construction Workers Face
Many construction workers make the mistake of living with their injuries, thinking they are part of the job. With time, those injuries worsen and can ultimately lead to permanent disabilities. Some of the common reasons for back injuries in the industry include the following:
Lifting heavy objects – The biggest cause of back injuries is the result of dead lifting heavy objects. While the task is unavoidable in construction, the injuries and pain it can cause is avoidable if workers are taught proper lifting postures and are provided relevant safety gear.
Unequal lifting – Bending or twisting at odd angles while carrying awkwardly shaped and heavy or lightweight objects can cause painful lower back sprains. If it is accompanied by a poor stance, the injuries can be much worse.
Wearing a heavy tool belt – A tool belt is already filled with tools that can weigh several pounds. Adding more tools or wearing a belt that is heavy even if it is empty can place a lot of pressure on the back.
Improving Back Health In The Construction Industry
Construction workers who are trained to avoid common injuries in the workplace can work for years and look after their families with their income. That is the site manager’s job and legal obligation. Some of the things they can and should do to prevent backbreaking injuries include the following:
- Ensure that construction materials are delivered close to the site they are designated for.
- Make sure that materials are stored waist high. If that isn’t possible, they should make sure that adjustable scaffolding is in place to keep the work at that level.
- Ensure floors and walkways are clear and dry.
- Allow frequent breaks especially for workers who return after recovering from a workplace injury.
If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace injury on a construction site because of the supervisor’s negligence, you can sue for damages. Get in touch with our work accident lawyers for a consultation today!