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10 Tips to reducing sprains and strains

11 January 2023
Work should not hurt 10 tips sprains strains

Plumbing has the most strains and sprains of any trade, with 39,000+ days off due to injury in 2020.

Follow these 10 tips to lower the risk of hurt:

  1. Get work up off the ground. Use a trolley, sawhorse, portable bench, three-step ladder or even the tailgate or tray to avoid working bent over.
  2. Get closer to the task. Reduce the need to work with your arms raised by using ladders, work platforms and scaffolding.
  3. Take regular breaks. Rest, stretch and straighten up regularly if you’re working in awkward positions.
  4. Lighten your tool kit or consider using a trolley to help move your gear. Change the contents of your toolkit to match the task you’re doing and keep your main supply of tools nearby.
  5. Use a trolley. A trolley keeps your gear in one place, makes it easy to move and gives you a raised working surface, saving time and effort.
  6. Organise the back of your van or ute. It saves time and effort when packing and unpacking.
  7. Stay hydrated while working. Keep a water bottle in your trolley. Your pee should be light yellow!
  8. Have good footwear. That includes with boot inserts. You should change your footwear when it becomes worn out or after six to 12 months of continuous use.
  9. Go for lightweight tools. Aim to work with tools that weigh under 1.5kg and that are powered rather than manual.
  10. Use a tray. When working under a floor space, store your tools and other gear in something like a wheelbarrow tray. You can drag it around to where you’re working with a rope.

Note: These tips are for plumbers by plumbers on the Work Should Not Hurt! web resource at www.chasnz.org/wsnh


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