Building industry workers are faced with so hazards in addition to physically taxing tasks such as having to bear heavy loads and using dangerous equipment and tools which can take their toll on a person.

Add to that the risks associated with equipment such as cranes and scaffolds which require work from heights and extra care as well as manual handling tasks which can cause sprains and strains workers are often left feeling very stressed and run down.

When workers are stressed they are not working at their optimum which can in fact cause them to neglect safety, causing injuries and possibly fatalities. So often stress and injury go hand in hand. Here some useful tips to help you avoid stress and injury on construction sites,

1. Use ergonomically correct portable and high-powered tools.Tools are meant to make your job and your life easier. Many users do not know the strain their badly designed tools are placing on them. Frequent use of poorly designed toolscould help you develop such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, white finger and trigger finger.

Power tools with their high vibration and excessive noise can also pose a risk. Employers must make sure that the power tools they choose for workers not only have lower vibration but have a long trigger. They should also consider both left-handed and right-handed workers when selecting tools.

When utilising hand tools, employers or safety coordinators should obtain tools that require as little force as possible to avoid excessive strain on the worker when they hold tools tightly.

2. Sit down when working at lower levels rather than standing and leaning over by bending your back. It is also not good to squat because you do not have good balance when you squat and this can be dangerous when using dangerous tools. Also avoid kneeling, this puts unnecessary strain on your knees especially when conducting work over longer times.

3. Keep your wrists and arms neutral. If you do not, by the end of the shift, your body will be suffering from swelling, tingling, strains and pains. Over time you can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Any condition that exerts pressure on the median nerve in the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Tendon inflammation resulting from repetitive work can also cause carpal tunnel symptoms, construction workers often engage in repetitive tasks which can result in this condition if workers are not careful.

4. Lift objects correctly to avoid sprains, strains and back aches. While it’s easy to get injured by carrying heavy loads, it’s not that hard to avoid this hazard altogether.Remember to always bend your knees and to avoid twisting to the side when lifting. To maintain balance, put one foot slightly in front of the other and evenly distribute your weight.

5. Balance the weight of your tool belt because although they are small, they can pull on the body and bring it out of alignment. If you find that one side of your belt is heavier than the other, then make the necessary adjustments by transferring tools to the lighter side to even the load.

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