Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dont Strain Yourself

Why construction workers get so many sprains and strains ...

"It's not rocket science to figure out why sprains and strains plague many construction firms. Fortunately, the solutions aren't that complicated either.

To the layperson, sprains and strains probably seem like small potatoes. Of all the calamities that life could visit upon a person, an ankle sprain might seem like a minor scrape in the grand scheme of things.

Safety professionals, however, know that sprains and strains are anything but small problems. In fact, sprains and strains are multibillion-dollar problems, according to the 2005 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, which estimates that overexertion - defined as injuries caused by excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing of an object - in 2003 cost employers $13.4 billion.

Safety professionals in construction should know this better than anyone. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2005, construction's lost-days nonfatal occupational injury and illness incidence rate for sprains and strains (83.1 cases per 10,000 full-time workers) was higher than any other industry sector. BLS data for 2005 also shows that construction's overall lost-days nonfatal occupational injury and illness incidence rate (239.5 cases per 10,000 full-time workers) was higher than any other sector - by a comfortable margin.

To figure out why sprains and strains are prevalent in construction is not rocket science. Construction, after all, involves gritty, physical labor - often performed by workers who aren't in peak physical condition. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the BLS statistics for 2005 indicate that construction not only led the way in the lost-days injury and illness incidence rate for sprains and strains, but also in the lost-days incidence rate for cuts and lacerations; fractures; and multiple traumatic injuries."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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