Skanska slashes injuries with morning warmups

Company sees 66 percent fewer back injuries and 73 percent less soft tissue injuries when crews do simple stretches before working.

A few minutes of stretching and flexing each day before work may not seem like it would be of much benefit. But the largest construction firm operating in Florida has found its daily group exercise sessions have resulted in both physical and mental benefits to its employees, even boosting morale.

Construction crews for Skanska USA, Florida's largest construction firm, practice Stretch & Flex at Tampa International Airport. Skanska employees and members of all of their subcontracting firms begin each work day with five to 10 minutes of stretching and flexing to limit soft tissue and back injuries. Photos: SKANSKA; Story text: The Tampa Tribune

In just one year, the Northeast team for Skanska USA saw a 66 percent decrease in back injuries and a 73 percent drop in soft tissue injuries, like muscle tears, bruising and sprains. The company’s 50,000 employees in the United States and abroad, including management, start every workday with simple exercises like stretching shoulders, forearms, necks and calves to help them shake off sleep and prepare for a safe day on the job.

Among those jobs is renovation and restructuring of the main terminal at Tampa International Airport, a project that is ongoing as part of the $1 billion master plan now taking shape.

Such exercise programs, which are becoming more common, not only make for a safer work environment for employees, but from a business standpoint, they cut down on cost and liability for contractors, experts say.

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Source: The Tampa Tribune