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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Sprains and Strains in Construction/Pulling Cables

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 these injuries.

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 commercial electrician was wiring

a newly built commercial building.

He had been doing this kind of work for several years.

While standing on a ladder that was too short

for the job, he pulled long runs of a heavy gauge wire.

He then attached the wiring above his head to the ceiling.

The job involves awkward pulling movements

while reaching overhead.

After several days on the job, the stress on the

electrician's arms, neck, back, and shoulders

has become too much.

As a result, the pain the electrician feels has

affected his ability to do the work.

Let's look at the events leading up to these injuries,

and see how they could have been prevented.

As before, the electrician is attaching wiring

to the ceiling.

But this time, he is standing on an elevated

platform that is the right height for the job.

This reduces his overhead movements,

and prevents stress to his body.

Also, as he attaches the wiring,

he is now using a mechanical wire puller

to get the wire he needs.

This way, he doesn't hurt himself by pulling the wire

by hand and straining his body as he did before.

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

or 1-800-321-OSHA

that's 1-800-321-6742