Ergonomics is the science concerned
with designing and arranging things that people use so that
people will interact with the environment most effectively
and safely. Ergonomics means arranging the environment to
fit the person.
On the construction worksite, ergonomic
principles are being used to help adapt the job to fit the
person, rather than force the person to fit the job. Redesigning
the job to fit the worker can reduce stress and eliminate
many potential injuries and disorders associated with the
overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repetitive motions.
As a construction worker,
your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, backs, and legs
may be subjected to thousands of repetitive twisting,
forceful, or flexing motions during a typical workday.
Many construction jobs can expose you to excessive vibration
and noise, eye strain, repetitive motion, and heavy
If machines, tools, and the
workflow are poorly designed, they can place undue stress
on tendons, muscles, and nerves. In addition, temperature
extremes may aggravate or increase ergonomic stress.
Your ability to recognize ergonomic problems on the
construction site is the essential first step in correcting
these problems and improving construction worker safety
The three most important issues
related to ergonomics for construction workers, and ways to
control them, are listed below:
Back Safety and Lifting:
Practice proper lifting
Get help with large
Use materials handling
Equipment and Tool Vibration:
Use only the force
necessary to perform the job,
Hold and use tools
Rotate tasks and
take break from tasks during the work day to avoid vibration
for too long a duration.
Perform tasks following
proper job procedures at all times,
Select the right
tool for the job, and
Rotate the tasks
you perform during the work day to avoid a single type of
repetitive motion for too long a duration.