Skanska incorporates stretching, light exercise into toolbox talks, sees huge decrease in worker injuries

Updated Jul 3, 2015
Photo Credit: Skanska USAPhoto Credit: Skanska USA

With one senior vice president saying the program, “has become a team sport,” for the company, construction giant Skanska USA’s Stretch & Flex program has proven to be much more than an agreeable way for employees to start the day.

According to a report from The Tampa Tribune, in the last year, the company’s Northeast team saw on-the-job back injuries drop 66 percent while muscle tears, bruising and sprains fell 73 percent thanks to stretching and light exercise before getting to work.

Skanska established Stretch & Flex and 2005. The has workers perform warm-ups like shoulder, forearm, neck and calve stretches before hearing a safety talk.

“We start with Stretch & Flex, and then the superintendents and project managers address the entire crew and talk about potential risks for the day, things that may not have been on the job site the previous day that they need to know,” Christian Deater, environment, health and safety director for Skanska, told the paper.

The company also uses the time to recognize employees for exemplary work.

The program has been so successful it even won over Skanska subcontractors, some of which have adopted the practice themselves, the paper reports.