Construction, farming, landscaping, outdoor work involves physical labor, and over time, can take a toll on the body. Due to the labor-intensive nature of working outside, ergonomics can be of great value in reducing the risk of injuries. Let us look at how to protect workers from injuries ergonomically.


  • Avoid using tools or other items above shoulder height.
  • Cover handles with slip resistant materials (plastic or rubber).
  • Do not overexert when shoveling.
    Maintain your back in an upright position, lifting with the legs and not your back.


  • Keep loads between hand and shoulder level.
  • Avoid lifts from the floor or over shoulder level.
  • Put handles on containers whenever possible.
  • Redesign loads so that they can be lifted close to the body.
  • When carrying objects more than a few feet, use a dolly or utility cart.
  • Try to use both arms – your back will be less likely to strain if you carry two half containers in each arm, rather than a full container with only one.


  • Sit up with a straight back, keeping the shoulders back. Knees should be even with or slightly higher than your hips. Keep feet flat on the floor.
  • Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
  • Allow workers to do different types of work (change from standing to sitting to walking).
  • Redesign work to avoid stooping. If stooping is required, integrate other alternative tasks that require sitting or walking.

Download a PDF of this Toolbox Talks in English

Download a PDF of this Toolbox Talks in Spanish