Construction workers in Florida face many hazards at work every day, and the construction industry has some of the highest rates of accidents and injuries. While falls account for the greatest number of construction site accidents, overexertion injuries from lifting, pushing or pulling also frequently occur. Throughout a workday, a construction worker might have to lift heavy objects repeatedly, including overhead. This can cause muscle strains, sprains, tears and back injuries.
Lifting injuries in the construction industry
According to data from Liberty Mutual, lifting injuries now rank second behind falls as the most common types of injuries reported in the workers’ compensation claims filed by construction workers. Overexertion injuries caused by lifting, pushing or pulling objects accounted for 21% of all of the workers’ compensation claims and amounted to a cost of $2.21 billion. Falls were the most commonly reported injury type and accounted for 33.8% of the filed workers’ comp claims and a total cost of $3.56 billion.
Preventing lifting injuries
Construction companies and construction workers can do several things to prevent injuries caused by lifting at construction sites. They can deliver materials to the locations where they will be used and try to store them at the workers’ waist levels. Scaffolding should be arranged so that workers perform work at waist level. Heavy materials should be lifted with dollies, carts or forklifts instead of workers straining their backs. When workers have to lift heavy materials, they should bend their knees to pick the materials up instead of bending over at the waist to get them. Materials should be lifted close to the body, and workers should avoid twisting while they lift if they can.
People who suffer lift injuries while working at construction sites can file workers’ compensation claims through their employers’ insurance companies. Workers’ compensation might provide coverage for all of the injured employees’ medical bills and related costs. If they cannot return to their jobs because of their injuries either temporarily or permanently, the injured workers might also be able to recover disability benefits to replace a percentage of their incomes.