Sunday, June 3, 2012

Preventing Construction Site Back Injuries

In the construction industry, 25% of injuries are back injuries. Construction has a higher rate of back injuries than any other injury, except transportation. Back injuries cause 1 in 100 construction workers to miss time from work every year.

Construction site back injuries are most often caused by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, and puling materials. Low back injuries are more likely if you often carry heavy loads, must twist while carrying heavy loads, or work a lot while bending over or in other awkward positions. Most back injuries are sprains and strains, but a back injury can be more severe, such as a herniated disc or nerve impingement.

Many construction back injuries can be avoided by:
  • Cutting down on carrying. Have materials delivered close to where they will be used. 
  • Storing materials at waist height. Lifting from higher or lower heights can be awkward, and can increase the risk of back injury. 
  • Raise your work to waist level. Working at waist level avoids awkward postures. 
  • Make sure floors and walkways are clear and try. Slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of back injuries. 
  • Take breaks. When you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to sustain injury. 
  • Use carts, dollies, forklifts, and hoists to move heavy materials. 
  • Use carrying tools with handles. Decrease your risk of back injury by having a good grip on awkward loads. 
  • Avoid lifting items weighing more than 50 pounds by yourself. Get help from someone else, or use a cart. 
  • Keep the load as close to your body as you can when carrying or lifting. 
  • Avoid twisting when lifting and lowering materials. 
  • Lift and lower materials in a smooth motion. 
  • Don’t bend over when lifting materials off the ground. 
If you’ve sustained an on-the-job construction injury, you may be entitled to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expense benefits, wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and/or rehabilitation benefits. For a free, no-obligation case consultation contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email


  1. These are some great construction site safety tips! And don't try and lift anything too heavy by yourself!

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  3. Back injuries are indeed common to construction workers. Thank you for pointing the means to avoid them. More of these health safety tips at work please.


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