Construction workers are at high risk for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), such as strains, sprains, carpal tunnel, and back injuries, due to the physically demanding nature of the work they perform. CPWR’s ergonomics community of practice is focused on advancing the use of evidence-based interventions designed to reduce WMSDs, engaging stakeholders in addressing barriers to use of these interventions, and identifying new research needs.
Significant research has been done on the work activities that create a risk for WMSDs. The following training materials, research and online resources can help reduce the risk and prevent injuries.
Training Materials & Toolbox Talks
Best Built Plans – Comprehensive Ergonomics Training Program – This program and related planning resources were developed to reduce risks associated with manually lifting and moving materials, including strain and sprain injuries.
- Best Built Plans – Training for Workers
- Instructor Guide
- Presentation Materials:
- Part 1-A – Ergonomics basics (PowerPoint)
- Part 1-B – Ergonomics basics (PowerPoint)
- Part 2 – Proper lifting methods (hands-on demonstrations). Appendix C – Demonstration station signage
- Part 3 – Interactive planning, lifting, moving, and stretching activities, including games for smartphones (PowerPoint)
- Part 4 – Ergonomics refresher (PowerPoint)
- Best Built Plans Contractor Program — Click here to watch the presentation recording about the causes of soft tissue injuries, prevention, and how you can create your own ergonomics program to reduce soft tissue injuries among the construction workers that you employ.
Other Training Materials
The Best Built Plans program also includes a Planning Tool and Other Resources
- Toolbox Talks
- Guides & Checklists
- Fact Sheets/Tip Sheets
- SAVE – Safety Voice for Ergonomics (a free training program designed to teach masonry brick and block apprentices problem solving skills and ergonomics)
Equipment & Tools Resulting from Research
Solutions from NIOSH’s Mining Division with application for construction:
A. Current CPWR Projects Underway:
- Evaluation of the Best Built Plans Manual Material Handling Tool for Construction
- Evaluation of Trunk and Arm Support Exoskeletons for Construction
B. Completed Research: