WorldWide Drilling Resource

16 OCTOBER 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Ergonomics: Simple Ways to Work Smarter in Construction Adapted from Information by Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America Sprains and strains such as back, shoulder, knee, and other musculoskeletal problems are the most common injuries in the construction industry. These muscle, joint, and bone injuries account for more than a third of all lost workday injuries and produce about half of all compensation claims. When surveyed, 40% of construction workers said “working hurt” is a major issue. Working hurt reduces productivity, and continuing to work hurt can result in disabling injuries that could end a career. Many workers who perform physical labor retire by age 55 because they are unable to do the work anymore. Often, they cannot enjoy retirement due to their disabilities. Ergonomics means finding easier ways to work that are just as productive. Ergonomic changes are generally inexpensive and can be quite simple. They include: Planning - k Plan the job to minimize manual handling of heavy materials. Make sure crane time is available when needed and forklifts are used maximally. k Deliver and store materials close to where they will be used. Make sure materials are stored for easy access - not above shoulder height or on the ground level when possible. k Make sure walkways are even and clear so carts and dollies have plenty of room to pass when needed. Tools and Equipment - k Use ergonomically designed tools which may be lighter, require less force to operate, fit the hand better, and are more comfortable to use. k Use carts, dollies, and hoists rather than brute strength to move materials. k Use protective equipment like knee pads and shoulder pads to reduce constant stresses of kneeling or carrying materials. Cooperation - k Get help to handle heavy loads. Some companies require weight limits like 50 pounds; anything heavier requires a helper. k Do stretches before work begins each day. Training - k Train workers to identify ergonomic risks and common solutions. k Set up an “ergonomics process” which is a regular time - perhaps during safety meetings - to talk about ergonomic issues, get ideas about solutions, test suggestions, and decide if they were real improvements. Workers experience ergonomics on the job every day. The problems and solutions above illustrate how to properly mitigate ergonomic issues. Courtesy of C&G I have greatly enjoyed the magazine very much, so keep up the good work. George VanHoose Louisa, KY