Work in construction is associated with a high risk for musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. The symptom survey was conducted to determine the magnitude and musculoskeletal injury characteristics among the cement and concrete workers and identify the most problematic work-related activities and job factors that might have contributed to the occurrence of these disorders. Findings revealed that a large proportion of the laborers (77%) experienced at least one musculoskeletal disorder in the last year. Low back pain was reported as the most frequently experienced symptom (66%). 'Working while in pain' the concrete workers perceived as the major problem in the trade. Other problematic work-related activities included 'bending or twisting the back', 'work in hot, cold or wet conditions', and 'handling heavy objects'. Most of the laborers (82%) requested on-the-job safety training. Survey results combined with the outcomes of focus groups discussions and work site observations were used in the design of a training program aimed at the prevention of musculoskeletal morbidity in the trade. The program incorporated ergonomics principles, hazard recognition, safe work practices, problem solving and personal protection in the training curriculum for membership of the trade.