Reducing Sprains and Strains In Construction Through Worker Participation

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

Scaffold erection work is physically demanding. It requires manual handling, lifting, and carrying of heavy materials and work in awkward postures. As a result, scaffold erectors suffer from a relatively high rate of work-related injuries, most of them musculoskeletal.

This manual presents ways to make the work safer, based largely on ideas from workers. When workers help develop a manual, the proposed solutions are practicable and relatively easy to implement. In addition, this active involvement of workers – ”participatory ergonomics" – tends to result in more-motivated workers, less absenteeism, higher-quality work, and better productivity.

While this manual uses scaffold erection as the specific topic of application, the process could be used to address worker safety in other construction tasks.

This manual is available as a PDF file.

May 1998