Construction environments are typically overflowing with activity and demand high amounts of physical exertion. This typically leads to overexertion as a result of lifting, carrying, pulling, holding, and pushing tasks – all inevitably leading to injury. In construction, workplace musculoskeletal injuries are commonly caused by repetitive work, strenuous work positions, continuous exertion and vibration.
- Repetitive Tasks
Repetition plays a big role in workplace injuries. Did you know workers lift their arms up to 4,600 times a day on average — consider how much toll this takes on their upper extremities. Repetitive tasks are very hazardous because they lead to repeated strain in the same muscle groups and joints. This can lead to injury and disability, which eventually impacts productivity and work efficiency. If the cycle time of your job is 30 seconds or less, it is classified as a repetitive job and may expose you to a higher risk of work injury.
- Awkward Work Positions
Awkward positions include any position that differs from the natural body positions we should inhabit while working. Even maintaining the same position in normal postures for long periods of time usually leads to fatigue. Now consider unnatural work positions; they lead to muscle inefficiency and exertion, which inadvertently leads to musculoskeletal injuries. Examples of common awkward postures include prolonged standing, which may cause fatigue and lower back pain, bending forward, which can cause lower back injuries, and reaching overhead which may cause damage to your shoulders and arms. Sometimes, maintaining fixed positions may also lead to stiffness and injury.
- Continuous Exertion
The human body is not designed to take on continuous force and exertion. It needs recovery time in order to regain strength and vitality. Unfortunately, long work hours subject our bodies to constant exertion with limited recovery time. This leads to accumulated fatigue in certain body parts like the lower back, which makes them prone to injury. Continuous exertion exposes the same muscle groups and body parts to wear and tear, which may lead to injury if not attended to.
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, overexertion is the leading cause of WMSDs, causing up to 67% of musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers in 2015.  Apart from causing WMSDs, overexertion also results in lost productivity, disability, and costly medical expenses. The effects of overexertion are also experienced on a more significant economic scale. According to the CDC, “the economic burden of construction industry worker’s compensation costs brought on by WMSDs in the United States has been estimated to be more than $2 billion annually (Liberty Mutual 2021).” 
Vibration may affect the whole body or a specific body part. It usually affects workers who operate power tools, machines, and even trucks. Vibration can affect the nerves, muscles, tendons, and joints, and it usually results in fatigue, pain, loss of touch, and numbness. Continuous exposure to vibration is very detrimental to workers.