Sprains and Strains in Construction/Laying Stone
Each year in the U.S., 31,000 construction workers seek
medical attention due to sprains and strains
suffered on the job.
These injuries happen when the human body is forced
to work beyond its limits.
Lifting, pulling, pushing, reaching, bending,
and other common construction activities can cause
The pain resulting from these injuries can last
a lifetime and affect construction workers' lives
at work and at home.
But these injuries can be prevented.
This video shows how overexertion at construction
sites can lead to worker injuries.
The video will also show what employers
must do so that the work can be done more safely.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe
workplace and required protective equipment.
You'll see that taking the right protective steps
can help prevent these injuries.
An experienced stonemason and her tender were using
large stone pieces to build a walkway for a new
A concrete slab was already in place, and the
workers were putting the stone on top of the slab.
The tender was mixing the mortar in five-gallon
buckets and carrying the mortar to the mason.
After the mason spread some of the mortar onto the
concrete slab, the workers bent over at the waist
to pick up one of the heavy stone pieces.
They kneeled down and hunched over to lay the stone
piece on top of the mortar.
After several days of carrying these heavy loads
and kneeling and hunching while doing their work,
both of these workers are experiencing severe
lower back and knee pain.
Let's look at the events leading up to these
injuries, and see how they could have been prevented.
As before, the tender is mixing mortar.
This time, a cement mixer is being used and the
tender wheels the mortar over to the stonemason.
The stone pieces have also been placed off the
ground and both workers are now wearing knee pads.
After the mason spreads some of the mortar, the
workers pick up and lay one of the stone pieces
into the wet mortar.
Making these types of small changes in work
activities can prevent painful injuries.
This example shows the importance of employers
using OSHA's ergonomics guidelines.
These are guidelines designed so workers
can avoid stress and injury to their bodies.
These types of injuries are preventable.
Follow OSHA's guidelines at work sites.
By following the guidelines, workers can avoid
suffering a lifetime of pain from these injuries.
If you would like more information,
contact OSHA at www.osha.gov
or 1-800-321-OSHA or 6742