Preventing Back Injuries While Working Construction

Several workers dig a pit at a construction site while supervisors watch from above.

In Minnesota, it seems we are constantly in the ‘construction season’. Whether it be road, housing or industrial, wherever you look there seems to be a construction project in process. In the construction industry, 25% of injuries incurred on-the-job, are back injuries. Construction sites have the second-highest rate of back injuries than any other injury, next to transportation. Back injuries cause 1 in 100 construction workers to miss time from work every year. The attorneys at Meuser Law, P.A. are experienced in Minnesota workers’ compensation and personal injury law and have successfully represented many clients with this type of injury.
When working construction, injuries to the back are most often caused by lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, or pulling heavy materials. Low back injuries are more likely to occur if you are often carrying heavy loads, twisting while carrying heavy loads, often bending over, or perform work in awkward positions. Most back injuries are sprains and strains, but a back injury can be more severe, such as a herniated disc or nerve impingement.

Many construction back injuries can be avoided by:

  • Cutting down on the load you carry. Whenever possible, have construction materials delivered close to where they will be used.
  • Storing materials at waist height. Lifting from higher or lower heights can be awkward, and will increase the risk of back injury.
  • Raise your work to waist level. Working at waist level avoids awkward postures.
  • Make sure floors and walkways are clear and dry. Slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of back injuries.
  • Take breaks. When you’re fatigued, you are more likely to sustain injury.
  • Use carts, dollies, forklifts, and hoists to move heavy materials.
  • Carry tools using the handles. Decrease your risk of back injury by having a good grip on awkward loads.
  • Avoid lifting items weighing more than 50 pounds by yourself. Enlist help from a co-worker, or use a cart.
  • Keep the load close to your body when carrying or lifting.
  • Avoid twisting when lifting or lowering materials.
  • Lift and lower materials in a smooth motion.
  • Don’t bend over when lifting materials off the ground. Instead, bend at the knees and lift with your legs.

If you’ve sustained an on-the-job construction injury, you may be entitled to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expense benefits, wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and/or rehabilitation benefits. We at Meuser Law, P.A. have experienced attorneys available to assist you with your case and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive maximum benefits. Call us today at 877-746-5680 for a free, no-obligation case consultation of your workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.