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Bernold, L E and Guler, N (1993) Analysis of Back Injuries in Construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 119(03), 607–21.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Injuries; Construction; Accident prevention; Safety; Health hazards; Regulations;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(1993)119:3(607)
It has been found that back injuries represent one of the largest segments of worker injuries in the U.S. Only the common cold accounts for more lost work days. It impacts not only the health of individuals, it is also a huge economic burden to the industry due to medical cost, benefits, lost productivity, and absenteeism. However, the complexity and its cumulative nature make this injury difficult to understand, much less to propose preventive steps based on scientific analyses. This paper provides an overview of regulations and prevention methods used today. The major part of the paper presents a detailed discussion of possible causes of back injuries in construction. Statistical data from insurance companies, the Construction Safety Association of Ontario, and a national survey is used to pinpoint critical tasks and motions, as well as common catalysts of this type of injury. In addition, sectors of the industry that indicate a higher occurrence of injuries involving the back are being identified. Based on these findings, a technological approach to the problem of back injuries seems to be the only viable process to improve the situation. It is felt that, due to the special characteristics of this industry, a concentrated and industry‐specific effort is needed to reduce the hazards and risks of injuring the human spine.