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Better backs in construction

Whatever your job, look after your back.

The size of the problem in Construction

Construction has the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These are mostly back injuries from manual handling. There were 56,000 Work Related MSD cases in construction in 2004/5. Handling injuries (to employees in 2004/2005) accounted for 38% of over 3 day injuries and 15% of major injuries.

What Construction Inspectors will be doing

This year during the inspection campaign Inspectors from HSE’s Construction Division will be focussing on manual handling tasks that mainly form part of the Supply Chain Initiative.

These are:

Resources to support the campaign

In addition to the materials from the campaign pack available from the Better Backs website, two presentations have been prepared for the construction industry. The links are below:

Some examples of good and bad practice

2 men laying a kerb down using a vacuum lifter

Laying a long run of kerbs with a vacuum lifter - an example of good practice

2 men laying a kerb down on the ground

Kerb laying – Not the way to do it!


Plasterboard lying on a trolley

Using a trolley to transport plasterboard -an example of good practice

Updated 2011-03-10