- Operate demolition tools to break up existing concrete or masonry using pneumatic chisels, pneumatic air hammer, or electric concrete breakers.
- Provide job-site clean-up preparing for work using a skid-steer loader, shovel, pick, wheelbarrow and other tools to clear rocks, trees, shrubs, old concrete, exposing raw earth.
- Operate commercial truck with dump trailer, and skid-steer (loading and unloading hydraulic dump trailer).
- Layout, set up, and build forms for footings, walkways, walls, slabs and other structures introducing rebar, wire mesh, expansion joints and other reinforcements.
- Cut, bend, tie and place rebar in forms.
- Shovel, mix, pour, spread, compact and level fill dirt, base materials, and/or concrete.
- Pour, pump or wheelbarrow dump concrete into forms.
Despite all of the physically demanding tasks listed above, there were only two things keeping this concrete construction foreman from returning to work:
- He had to lift very heavy ramps that weighed 170 lbs. the were used to load/unload the skid-steer from the dump trailer.
- He had to push a wheelbarrow loaded with concrete or aggregate material that weighed up to 300 lbs.
Return To Work Plan
We determined that the following recommendations would allow this injured concrete construction foreman to return to work, working within the restrictions outlined by his treating physician.
- Outfit the dump trailer with lightweight hook-in skid-steer ramps ($350/pair) similar to these which weigh only 30 lbs.
- Reduce the loads pushed in the wheelbarrow by making multiple trips.
- Provide the concrete construction foreman with anti-vibration gloves ($33.00) similar to these to reduce vibration when using powered demolition tools.
- Use team lifting to divide the load between two or more employees (e.g., loading the plate powered compactor in/out of truck).
- Limit the duration of extended heavy hand tool use through job rotation.
- Increase rest and recovery periods through micro-breaks and task rotation.
- Implement a graduated return to work program to allow the employee to transition back to work, progressing to an 8-hour workday as tolerated.
The solution to this problem was found in the work environment. We treated the specific issues that were preventing his return, and found a low cost accommodation that was agreed to by all parties. The Employer was in full support of the Return To Work plan, as was the injured worker. Following our recommendations allowed for a successful Return To Work, to his original job.