As a construction worker, lifting heavy objects is a frequent occurrence, and lifting heavy can be unsafe if it isn’t done properly. Another common occurrence for construction workers is back injuries, and this shows how lifting should be done really carefully. These are a few ways to prevent lifting related injuries.
One of the most important things to think about is your realistic lifting limits. Knowing your limits will keep you safe, because lifting things we aren’t strong enough for is a recipe for disaster. If you doubt your ability to lift something, it is better to be safe and split up larger carries into smaller groups; as much as more trips will take more times, your body will thank you.
It is also vital to remember to practice good lifting form. If you are lifting incorrectly (with your back) then you are putting yourself at risk, so remember to lift with your legs, not your back. One of the best ways to do this is to imagine that you aren’t actually moving whatever you’re lifting, and instead focus on pushing the floor away with your legs. Also, remember not to twist during a heavy lift, and put down the item as carefully as you picked it up. These fundamental rules are easily ignored, but will benefit your physical health so much more.
Another way to protect yourself from injury is to wear safety gear. Manual handling causes around 1/3 of workplace injuries in the UK, and construction carries the biggest risk for spinal injuries. By wearing grip-enhancing gloves and work boots with reinforced toes you can minimise the risk of being injured if something is dropped.
A final way to prevent lifting related injuries is to take breaks when you can, and put down the item you are carrying if you feel fatigued. This is because lifting repeatedly without taking breaks could cause fatigue or chronic pain. By lifting sensible amounts of weight for sensible amounts of time you can avoid these issues as much as possible.
It is important to act with caution whenever working in construction, but especially when lifting related injuries are at risk. Because this industry causes so much potential for physical stress, extra precautions should be taken to ensure that your health (both long and short term) is protected. For more articles about construction, check out our Tidi-Blog.