The Ties That Bond Cost Savings and Injury

12.12.2020 |

The Ties That Bond Cost Savings and Injury

Imagine, if you will, a stretch of road under construction. The site has been prepped and rebar has been placed. Thousands of connections lay in front of your team. And it all needs to be tied together. During a normal year—no problem, right? Get to it. Endure the backache. Grab your power tool. Get it done.

But 2020 hasn’t been normal. The COVID-19 pandemic forced non-essential businesses shutdown (or running at limited capacity), citizens are told to stand six feet apart, PPE has never been said more often. But even essential workers are still strongly suggested to remain a safe distance apart. You have thousands of rebar to tie—the concrete is on a schedule and your deadline is coming.


In hopes to ease the backache, MAX USA launched the “world’s first battery-powered stand-up rebar tying tool.” The tool joins the TwinTier family of battery-powered rebar tying tools. According to the company, each tool can handle thousands of ties per charge at approximately half a second a tie. While helpful, these hand tools required the operator to bend over, and unless they were a contortionist, the potential of a significant amount of back pain endured.

According to Terry Kobayashi, product marketing executive for MAX USA Corp.’s rebar tying tools, in 2003 the University of Massachusetts did a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study on 1,000 ironworkers. “They found out that 56% of them were experiencing some sort of MSD in their lower back.” MSD stands for muscular-skeletal disorder.

“Not surprisingly,” he continues, “common among those DDMSD (doctor diagnosed muscular-skeletal disorders) were carpal tunnel syndrome and general tinnitus.” A significant amount, 31%, of those surveyed included one or both.

While this survey was a good while ago, this problem apparently still haunts the concrete contractor community. In the 2020 World of Concrete event, MAX USA displayed their TwinTier models in their booth, Kobayashi remembers that 86% of those who came by the booth mentioned that they’ve experienced some sort of back issue. “Fifty-six percent of them told us that they’ve had it so bad that they’ve had to take off from work.”

With teams stretched thin as it is, it may be worth the investment if a tool can avoid injury – not to mention if it can save a few dollars at the bottom line as well.

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