Construction sites are bustling hubs of activity, where skilled workers labor tirelessly to build infrastructure. However, this demanding work often leads to overexertion, a major cause of workplace injuries.
Overexertion and bodily reactions were the cause of 31% of nonfatal injury and illness cases that happened in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Knowing how overexertion occurs is important for anyone feeling exhausted or hurt after a day at work.
Heavy lifting and carrying
One of the most common sources of overexertion in construction is the manual handling of heavy objects. Workers frequently lift and carry materials such as bricks, steel beams and concrete blocks, putting immense strain on their muscles and joints.
Repetitive motions, such as hammering, drilling or sawing, can lead to overexertion injuries over time. Workers who engage in these activities for extended periods may experience muscle fatigue and strain.
Working in extreme weather
Construction does not stop for adverse weather conditions. Employees are often exposed to extreme heat or cold, which can lead to overexertion. In hot weather, the risk of heat-related illnesses increases as workers expend more energy to perform tasks. In cold weather, muscles can become more susceptible to strains.
Working at heights
Jobs that require working at heights, such as roofing or scaffold construction, demand a great deal of physical effort and concentration. Climbing ladders and scaffolding repeatedly can cause overexertion, especially if workers are carrying heavy tools or materials with them.
Long work hours
Many construction projects have tight deadlines, leading to long work hours for construction workers. Prolonged periods of exertion without adequate rest can result in fatigue and overexertion injuries.
Insufficient training can also contribute to overexertion injuries. Workers who are not properly trained in the use of equipment or lifting techniques may unknowingly put extra strain on their bodies.
Attention to detail is important for ensuring that employees perform their tasks safely and efficiently. Reducing the risk of workplace injuries and promoting overall construction site safety should be the focus of those in charge.