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Safety Corner

By Greg Wharton

As the economy improves, odd as it may sound, many of the most experienced construction professionals are taking on more responsibilities in addition to their normal duties. This may mean daily body movements that they are not used to, increasing their risk of injury. This aspect of a job should not be overlooked.

SMACNA members should be aware of these ergonomic issues, and the need to consider these risks in their supervisory priorities. Adjustments in routine for the most experienced employees not only affect production on a jobsite, but how long they will be able to work in the industry.

Standing balance, or a solid, equally-balanced base, is affected by the employee’s leg strength and coordination. This movement can have an impact during a slip, trip or fall. Slips, trips and falls is a great example why SMCA Safety Professionals encourage not just stretching, but implementing a few minutes of exercise before or even after work hours. This won’t just help SMCA journeymen, but apprentices as well.

Gripping strength, or the ability to firmly securing hand power tools, is affected by balance, but also by arm and core muscle strength. Our members utilize power tools frequently during the day. Having a solid grip on power tools will minimize injuries to themselves as well as co-workers if they are working at heights.

A quick core exercise before work and after work will negate injuries as well as improve longevity in the industry due to lack of injuries.

For additional information, contact Greg Wharton at (610) 828-4055 or gwharton@smca.org.

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