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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

Kansas City Construction Site Injuries: Musculoskeletal Injuries and Ergonomic Hazards in the Construction Trades

Ergonomics is the science and practice of designing job tasks or workplaces to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body.  When ergonomics are not taken into account in the workplace, musculoskeletal injuries can occur.  
 
Many construction workers suffer from back injuries, sprains and strains, wrist, shoulder, elbow, hip and knee problems because they exceed the limitations of their body on a regular basis.   These musculoskeletal injuries are not caused by a specific incident, but are brought on over time by the repeated performance of their jobs.
 
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognized that ergonomics was a problem for constructions workers and funded a study of the ergonomic problems of many construction trades.   The ergonomic risks that may cause construction site injury in each trade are summarized below:
 
Building construction workers
 
• Heavy lifting
• Arm and body vibration caused by machinery
• Repetitive motion
• Reaching overhead to work
• Lifting materials overhead
• Working on the floor or in a stooped position
 
Excavation workers
 
• Body vibration from earthmoving equipment and hand arm vibrations from soil tampers
• Ergonomic problems from poor seat and cab design
• Working in bent and awkward postures
 
Masons and masonry workers
 
• Heavy lifting and carrying
• Constant stooping to pick up materials
 
Concrete workers
 
• Workers risk back injury from the following:  use of heavy saws that are poorly balanced, digging of ditches and footers, driving stakes with sledge hammers, use of saw horses that are too tall or short, and carrying, setting and stripping of forms
• Body and arm vibration from power tools
 
Steel workers
 
• Welding in awkward postures
• Repetitive motions
• Whole body vibration from crane operation

 
Concrete workers

• Working in a bent posture
• Vibration hazards from equipment 
 
Sheet metal workers
 
• Reaching overhead puts stress on the arms, shoulders and neck
• Hand-arm stress from constant use and recoil of power tools
• Working in awkward or stooped positions
 
Plumbers
 
• Welding and pipe fitting in cramped positions
• Working while reaching overhead
• Wrist injuries caused by repeated use of welding torches 
 
Electrical workers
 
• Hand tools that are not ergonomically designed may cause wrist injuries
• Manual cable pulling may strain the back
 
Roofers
 
• Carrying and working with heavy materials may cause back injury
 
Drywall installers
 
• Overhead work when  shooting metal plates into the ceiling and placing ceiling drywall
• Poor design of drywall knives
• Moving large drywall sheets may cause back injury
• Repeated use of screw guns can cause wrist problems
• Repetitive movement
• Knee stress from working on stilts
 
Painters
 
• Overhead work puts stress on the arms, shoulders, neck and back
• Carrying paint materials with poorly designed handles can be stressful on the hands
 
Carpet installers
 
• Working in a bent kneeling position
• Using a knee kicker may cause serious injury to the knees
• Heavy lifting
 
Road construction workers
 
• Whole body vibration from pavers and other equipment
• Heavy lifting may cause back injury

Overexertion is a risk for all construction trades.
 
Over time, these ergonomic risks may cause serious injury.  However, ergonomic problems are not unavoidable. Properly designed tools can reduce risk of injury from vibration and awkward positioning.  Other tools can reduce overhead or floor level work.  But, changing the way work is done requires both the worker and contractor to be aware of the risks of musculoskeletal injury.
 
If you are a Kansas City construction site worker who has sustained a musculoskeletal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical care, pain and suffering and lost wages.  The Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys has helped many construction site injury victims to obtain fair compensation for their injuries. Contact our Kansas City construction site injury attorneys at 888-348-2616 to learn more.
 
Request your copy of our FREE book, "10 Essential Steps You Must Take to Protect Your Injury Claim – How You Can Escape the Personal Injury Trap".

 

 

James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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