Your construction job, while earning you a good living, also puts you at constant risk of injury, particularly to your back. Braceability.com reports that 30% of construction workers miss work each year because of a back injury.
You face the highest risk of back injury if you work as one of the following:
- Heavy equipment operator
You likewise face a high back injury risk if you work as a roofer, drywall or tile installer, bricklayer or jackhammer operator.
Back injury causes
Unfortunately, construction jobs are notorious for requiring workers to engage in long periods of physical exertion, including pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, twisting and turning their bodies. All of these activities put an enormous strain on your back, especially your lumbar region, i.e., your lower back. Consequently, lower back pain often becomes a construction worker’s constant companion.
Tips to minimize your risk
You need to take a proactive approach to protecting your back. Experts recommend the following:
- Stretch out your back and leg muscles prior to lifting heavy objects.
- Wear a construction back brace whenever lifting or moving one.
- Always lift with your legs, never your back.
- Never lift anything weighing over 50 pounds by yourself; get a coworker to help you or use a dolly, hoist, etc.
- Take breaks between lifting jobs.
- Ice and/or massage your back when you get home.
Taking care of yourself and using proper lifting techniques represent your two main defenses against sustaining a back injury. The care you take now will stand you in good stead throughout your career and as you continue to age.