If you work in construction, you could be at higher risk of developing one of the following health problems. Here are some of the symptoms explained, how to treat them and how to avoid them.
|Pexels Image By Yury Kim|
HAVS stands for "Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome". It's a painful tingling and numbing sensation in the arms and legs caused by using vibrating tools like drills and sanders. To treat HAVS, you’ll need to take a long break from work to avoid exposure with vibrating tools. Medication and physiotherapy can also help, which is something a doctor can advise you on. To prevent HAVS, make sure to take breaks once you notice yourself developing aches while using vibrating tools. If you’re an independent contractor and can choose your own tools, you can also prevent HAVS by opting for low vibration tools (a growing number of these now exist on the market).
Back injuries are very common in construction, and are often associated with carrying loads that are too heavy or not carrying them properly. Slipped discs in the lower back are the most common cause of back pain. It may be possible to manage this pain through meditation and exercises like yoga, but physiotherapy and even surgery can be treatment options for severe cases. If you want to avoid developing back pain, learning to use the correct form when picking up and carrying objects could help because it takes the pressure off of your back. It’s also important to know your limits when lifting objects. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when lifting something very heavy, or use tools to help.
Fractures and dislocations can be caused by slips and falls. When working at height, these falls can be much more serious, potentially causing death if sufficient safety measures aren’t put into place. If you think you have a broken bone or have dislocated a joint, you should see a doctor right away. You’ll likely have to take time off work to recover and will need to be careful of what types of work you do afterwards. Ideally, you want to avoid these injuries altogether. Maintaining a tidy work environment and paying attention to construction health and safety protocol is the best way to do this.
Construction workers are commonly exposed to noises above 85 db, which is the volume at which hearing damage occurs. If you find that your ears are sore and ringing after a day at work, it could be a sign that you’ve already caused hearing damage. A hearing exam will be able to determine if you're experiencing hearing loss and whether you need a hearing aid. Wearing earplugs or ear defenders is recommended when working with or around noisy tools to prevent hearing damage.
A lot of dust can get kicked up on a construction site. And inhaling this dust could cause damage to your lungs, leading to the development of COPD. An associated condition is mesothelioma. This is a cancer that affects the lungs and is caused by breathing in asbestos dust. If you're starting to experience breathing difficulty, wheezing or persistent coughing, you could be suffering from COPD or mesothelioma. There are many treatment options that you can explore, ranging from medication (such as inhalers) to surgery. To avoid COPD or mesothelioma, wear a respirator mask. This is the best form of protection when working around lots of dust, particularly asbestos dust. Measures can also be taken to help reduce dust on a construction site, which can also help to prevent COPD.
This is a contributed post.