Construction and trade
Fit and healthy in skilled crafts and trades
They bake our tasty treats, they repair your beloved car, they rescue your hairstyle just before a date and they build the houses of your dreams. In many walks of life, we have to rely on the skills and know-how of skilled craftsmen and women. Crafts and trade are a vital factor for the UK economy.
Protect your back!
A construction worker or builder bends down hundreds of times a day. Try to think about your back and bend at the knees when you lift heavy loads.
When carrying heavy loads remember:
- hold the object as close to your body as possible and only pass it on with your back straight.
- it's better to carry a lighter load twice than a heavy one once.
- push or pull it instead of lifting it if this is an option. Use a wheelbarrow, crane and suction lifter whenever possible.
Dealing with hazardous substances
Hazardous substances are those that pose a potential chemical risk – e.g., they can be easily flammable, corrosive or poisonous. In workshops, garages and factories, these may include asbestos or welding electrodes that can be as harmful to health as smoke or dust can.
When employers and employees work together to ensure safety at work, they work responsibly and stay healthy. Find out all you can about the options that are available for your work and, where necessary, wear protective clothing such as safety goggles, gloves and a face mask.
The walls have to be painted quickly and the cake's waiting for the perfect decoration – it's your job to work quickly, but perfectly every day. Craftsmen are also exposed to situations at work that trigger stress. Tight deadlines, too much work, different building sites, noise, dust, heat or cold.
Start looking for solutions to your stress now and organise your time:
- A weekly or monthly plan gives you a clear overview. Add a little time for unforeseen events.
- Take regular breaks to relax and recharge your batteries with the energy you need.
- Endurance sports such as swimming, jogging or cycling are good for you to do after work.
In a joiner's workshop, for example, it doesn't just smell of sweet wood shavings, the machinery they use to create their masterpieces are also very loud. Sometimes ear protectors have to be worn.
Look after your health and avoid loud noise. Observe the company rules and find out exactly whether ear plugs are enough or whether earmuffs or a sound proof helmet are mandatory. Try to spend as little time as possible in a noisy area to spare your hearing and body.
Make your life easier!
You'll be better off if you watch your back and protect yourself properly against hazardous substances and loud noise – but you can do more to protect your body and health:
- Pay attention to the veins in your legs, especially if you stand a lot! Because this is when the vessel walls stretch and varicose veins, phlebitis or thromboses can occur.
- If you suffer with backache, special back supports can help stabilise the back and reduce muscular tension.
- Various knee protector supports or braces have proved effective in reducing stresses when kneeling.
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