How to Stay Healthy While Working in Construction
These days, a job in construction is a great gig. The good hours, pay and excellent benefits are quickly making construction work more popular than more conventional white collar jobs. It’s not for sissies, however. Sure, you get to ditch the office cubicle for the great outdoors, but this comes with a variety of on-the-job hazards that you need to be prepared for. How, then, to keep your health and well-being intact on a construction site?
Working outdoors in the summer is guaranteed to help you work up a good sweat. This does have its downsides, however, as dehydration is a serious concern than can even lead to death. Take frequent water breaks to ensure that your cells stay rehydrated. This will also keep your tissues nourished and free from toxins. You might think that this only applies to the summer months, but dehydration can be just as prevalent during the winter when you feel you may not need as much water. One of the warning signs of dehydration is fatigue, so if you’re feeling a little tired on the job, stop working and take in some much-needed H20.
Watch Your Joints
As a forklift or crane operator, you might not be sweating it out like the bricklayers on site. However, sitting all day can lead to joint pain, not to mention the risk of putting on too much weight. Get out of the sitting position by taking long walks around the site during break times. Morning and evening stretches will also re-align those joints and ease some of the strain associated with operating heavy machinery. Research has shown that construction workers who start the day with some basic stretches are more likely to avoid on-the-job strains and sprains.
You are what you eat
Try and avoid the temptation of tucking into all of those greasy take-away lunches and oily snacks. Packing your own lunch is not only cheaper, but also healthier and will keep that encroaching gut in check.
Noise, chemicals and other on-site hazards can be mitigated by wearing the proper gear. Safety goggles, for instance, can protect your eyes from flying foreign objects. They are essential for work involving cutting, welding and grinding. For your feet, ensure that you are wearing appropriate construction boots that have slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles.
Avoid crushed toes by making sure that your boots have safety-toes that prevent injury from falling objects. A hard hat is mandatory for anyone working on – or simply visiting – a construction site. Earplugs and earmuffs are important for all workers operating heavy machinery. These can effectively prevent hearing conditions brought about by drilling and other high-noise construction activities.
Use Safe Lifting Techniques
You’ll be surprised to learn that many construction workers just can’t get it right when it comes to lifting heavy objects safely. Standard safe lifting techniques involve testing the object before lifting it; keeping the back at its natural curve while leaving most of the hard work to the large muscles of the stomach and legs; and bending only at the hips and the knees. Good lifting techniques will ensure that your back stays in good shape for years to come.
These are just some of the measures you can take to ensure a happy and healthy career in construction. A strong body will also make sure that your career is anything but short-lived.