Ergonomics in the construction sector

In the demanding industry of construction, where there is a constant buzz of manual work, the importance of ergonomics can often take a backseat. However, neglecting ergonomics can have serious repercussions. Not only for employees and their health but also for employers. Regarding health, safety, overall productivity and efficiency. 

At Acorn, we’re passionate about helping employers in all industries understand the significance of ergonomics. Explore the benefits, and find out how you can create a safer and more efficient work environment.


Understanding Ergonomics in Construction


Ergonomics is derived from the Greek words “ergon” (work) and “nomos” (laws). Simply put, ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging objects, tasks, tools, and workspaces to fit the capabilities and limitations of the human body.

When we look at construction and the sector, ergonomics involves optimising the work environment and processes. The final aim or result is to minimise the risk of injury, enhance worker well-being, and boost overall productivity.


The Impact of Ergonomics on Construction Workers


Construction work and the tasks employees regularly complete are often very physically demanding. This work involves repetitive motions, heavy lifting and prolonged periods of standing or bending. Failing to address ergonomic concerns can lead to a range of health issues, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), fatigue, and even chronic pain. 

Health issues can have a significant effect on the well-being of workers. Resulting in decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher healthcare costs for employers.


Benefits of Implementing Ergonomics, Specifically for the Construction Sector 


Reduced Injury Rates 


Prioritising ergonomics and healthier working practices helps to prevent workplace injuries. It also reduces the likelihood of accidents caused by awkward postures or inadequate tools.


Enhanced Productivity 


Ergonomically designed workspaces and tools enable workers to perform tasks more efficiently. This can often lead to increased output, efficiency and a reduction in the time wasted. 


Improved Worker Satisfaction 


It’s often been shown that when employers invest in ergonomic practices, workers display higher levels of commitment. This then leads to higher job satisfaction and morale. 


Improved Margins


Addressing ergonomic issues early on can lead to significant cost savings. This is done by reducing medical expenses and costs associated with sick absence. Plus, any worker’s compensation claims, and a loss in productivity due to injury or health-related absence. 


Lower Turnover 


A safer, more comfortable and ergonomic work environment can contribute to decreased employee turnover. This is because workers are more likely to remain in employment where their health is prioritised. 


Practical Ergonomic Tips for Construction Businesses 


  1. Tool Selection. It’s important that employers invest in tools for their employees that have been designed with ergonomic considerations. Ergonomic tools can involve padded handled tools and other tools with anti-vibration features. Alternatively, tools with adjustable settings can greatly reduce strain on workers’ bodies.
  2. Manual Handling Techniques. Training employees to work in an ergonomic way is vital. This could involve training on proper lifting, and carrying techniques to avoid unnecessary strain on the back and limbs. For the construction sector specifically, employers should encourage the use of lifting aids whenever possible.
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For most construction businesses, PPE is commonplace. This could include harnesses, gloves, and safety footwear, which fit properly and comfortably. Ill-fitting PPE can contribute to discomfort and increase the risk of injury. 
  4. Optimised Workstations. Employers should design workstations that allow for easy adjustments of heights and angles. Providing anti-fatigue mats to reduce strain on workers who stand for long periods as part of their job. 
  5. Regular Breaks. Scheduling short breaks to give workers an opportunity to rest. 
  6. Task Rotation. The implementation of task rotation helps to vary the types of movement that workers perform. This can help to prevent overuse injuries and reduce muscle fatigue. 


Partnering with Acorn Occupational Health 


At Acorn Occupational Health, we understand the unique challenges faced by the construction industry. Our team of experienced professionals specialise in providing comprehensive ergonomics assessments tailored to your business needs. We offer expert guidance on designing ergonomic workplaces. In which we select appropriate tools, and implement effective injury prevention strategies. 

Investing in ergonomics is about fostering a culture of safety, well-being and productivity. Contact Acorn today to learn more about our ergonomic solutions and how we can help you transform your construction business into a safer and more efficient workplace. Call us on 01260 277797 or email us at

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.