As a contractor, your physical well-being and health is absolutely everything. If you get sick or injured, your livelihood is completely compromised. And the unfortunate truth is that the nature of your profession puts you at risk of experiencing not just accidents on the job, but also long-term damage to your body.
In this business, it’s not uncommon to hear about injured backs and damaged knees putting people out of commission. Using the wrong stance while edging a floor, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, and other issues repeated over years can really add up.
A certain amount of strain is inevitable, but taking steps today to prevent long-term injury can keep you going longer.
Taking care of your body is especially important, and something you probably already know and hear all of the time. But just to reiterate, here are 5 ways to keep your body healthy so you can continue to run your wood flooring business for as long as possible.
5 ways to keep your body injury-free to support your wood floor contracting business
- Stretch your body. Stretching keeps your muscles nimble and helps you alleviate or even prevent pain and strain. One of the best things about stretching for contractors is that you don’t need any special props or tools to perform simple workouts. You can even do the stretching on-site while you’re waiting for your latest coat to dry. This Wood Floor Business article does a great job of explaining a number of yoga poses that are best to alleviate certain types of strains that come with different activities on the job.
- Wear kneepads! Kneepads are one of the most important tools you can utilize to protect your knees, especially when you’re edging or getting up close to a wall to apply finish. It might be a cumbersome (and smelly) process, but knee pads are well worth it in the long run.
- Be mindful of your edger stance. Make sure that you are putting your weight on your leg muscles instead of bending over at the waist to get close to the floor. Instruction manuals for edgers usually have pictures to show you how to properly use edgers without hurting your lower back. Even though you might be used to edging floors a certain way, preventing back pain is an extremely important component of keeping you going for the long haul.
- Check your balance. One common culprit of strain on a contractor’s body is improperly balanced tool belts. Make sure there is not too much weight on one side of your belt, because this might put excessive strain on that particular side of your body, even if you don’t notice it at first. Make sure to evenly distribute the weight of the tools in your belt to prevent this from happening.
- Use ergonomically designed tools and machines. Machinery companies understand the unique challenges faced by contractors when it comes to keeping their muscles and joints safe. A number of companies are dedicated to making sure to take this into account when designing their machinery. For example, the Lagler Hummel and the Primatech nailers and staplers feature ergonomic designs which are specifically meant to help reduce the amount of strain your body endures while using them.
These are just a few ways that you can prevent long-term damage to your body as a hardwood floor contractor. Share your tips — what do you do to make sure that your body remains safe and strain-free on the job?