Life as a manual laborer, including work in the construction industry, is not free of danger or injury. Almost any factory or construction industry job requires some sort of lifting. This can cause strain or injury to the worker’s arms, shoulders, back, neck, and hands. Repetitive lifting and stooping movements can cause soreness and serious injury over time, which can directly impact both work and daily life.
When working in a manual labor or construction environment in a role that requires repetitive lifting and stooping, these precautions are recommended to help avoid injury.
- Focus on keeping lifts between hand and shoulder level, avoiding any lifts from the floor or higher than shoulder level.
- Adjust loads to ensure they can be pulled in and lifted close to the body.
- Use the assistance of dollies or utility carts, when available, to move objects that would require lifting and carrying more than a few feet.
- Avoid lifting bags or boxes that weigh 50 pounds or more by breaking the load into smaller, more manageable loads.
- Use mechanical aids, whenever possible, to help cart, lift, and stack.
- Avoid stooped working at all costs, redesigning these tasks when possible.
- Take frequent short breaks by walking or stretching.
- Use a stool to position the body closer to the ground.
Overall, never shy away from asking a coworker for assistance with lifting or low tasks that require stooping. If a worker is at risk of lifting strain or has previously experienced an injury, it is important they wear a proper back brace that will not interfere with their work or cause additional injury due to loose straps or pieces that could catch on machinery.
Increase awareness of potential lifting or stooping hazards by making a conscious effort to prepare for these types of regular activities or job-related tasks. Ensure workers are familiar with equipment instructions, per the operator’s manual and product labels. Discuss lifting safety hazards and precautions with workers and inform them of how to handle a medical emergency, should the situation arise.
Inexperienced, improperly trained, or unfit workers are more likely to cause themselves injury or strain when it comes to lifting or stooping while on the job. VensureHR is committed to helping business owners keep employees safe. Contact us to learn more about safety and risk management, including accident prevention, OSHA compliance and training, compliance resources, and claims management.