{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Housing industry insights Economics Insights Data & forecasts Tailored research and analysis Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance HIA Insurance Services Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Member perks Toyota vehicles The Good Guys Commercial Fuel savings See all Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) Solutions for your business Contracts Online Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer How do I apply? Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand Professional development courses A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Further your career Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2024 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA shop
HIA shop $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Most popular products National Construction Code Vol 1 & 2 Waterproofing wet areas AS 3740:2021 HIA Guide to Waterproofing HIA Guide to NCC Livable Housing Provisions Top categories Building codes & standards Contracts & documents Guides & manuals Safety documents Signage For your business Contracts Online Digital Australian Standards Digital Resource Library Forecasts & data
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Avoiding the most common workplace injuries

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for a while, it’s important to always be mindful of safety. If you lift, lower, push, pull, carry or move something, you may be performing hazardous manual handling. It’s the biggest cause of injuries to construction workers.

Construction work could be unsafe if it involves:

  • repeated, sustained or high force
  • sustained awkward posture
  • repetitive movements
  • exposure to sustained vibration
  • handling people or animals
  • loads that are unstable, unbalanced, or hard to hold.

Hazardous manual handling can lead to injuries such as:

  • sprains and strains
  • back injuries
  • soft-tissue injuries to wrists, arms, shoulders, neck or legs
  • hernias
  • chronic pain.

These types of injuries can affect your ability to work. Early signs and symptoms can progress into conditions which have long-term effects, and in some cases can be career-ending. In the past five years, SafeWork Australia has accepted more than 23,340 injury claims made by construction workers for these injuries. Around 54% of those workers needed one or more weeks off work.* 

Manual handling – contributing factors 

Typical risk factors that can increase the risk of injury include: 

  • Working in a fixed posture for a prolonged period of time
  • Handling awkward / heavy objects over uneven ground
  • Trying to lift long objects without a form of assistance 
  • Not wearing personal protective equipment when handling objects – deep lacerations 
  • Incorrect placement of hands when handling an object – serious crushing injuries.

Reducing or eliminating the risks

  • Stop & Think (risk assessment)
  • Grip the load firmly, never bend, twist and lift
  • Keep the load close to the body
  • Push don’t pull
  • Avoid reaching
  • Wear appropriate PPE (e.g. – gloves and safety equipment) where required
  • Use mechanical aids or team lifts whenever possible
  • Training / Instruction / Supervision – provide adequate explanation, guidance, and direction; always follow safe work practices


*Source SafeWork Australia Construction Industry Profile

Share with your network:
More articles on:
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find the latest expert advice, guides and much more!

Hire a HIA apprentice


Find out how you can hire an apprentice for your business.

We offer competitive rates and apprentices who are the right fit for your business.

Enquire today