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Why Do Construction Workers Have So Many Back Injuries?

Published March 24, 2019 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Workers' Compensation

No matter which job sites your Arizona construction job requires you to work at, you likely must lift, carry and move heavy tools, materials and equipment many times during your typical work day. Unfortunately, these activities give your back a constant beating that could, and often does, lead to painful back injuries and/or conditions.

Two years ago, Fox News reported that construction workers accounted for $46 million in lost wages in 2014 when they had to take off from work for an average of 13 days for each back injury.

High-risk jobs

Regardless of which construction job you do, you risk suffering a back injury or developing a chronic back condition. That risk is especially high if your trade is one of the following:

  • Roofer
  • Drywall installer
  • Jackhammer operator
  • Bricklayer or stonemason
  • Floor or wall tile installer

Weight build-up

The older you become and the longer you work your construction job, the more wear and tear your back undergoes. This is because the “little” things you lift each day add up over time. For instance, take the classic example from the Center for Construction Research and Training of a bricklayer who lifts 38-pound bricks 200 times each work day. What (s)he actually lifts amounts to the following:

  • 3.8 tons lifted each day
  • 19 tons lifted each week
  • 950 tons lifted each year

Given this extraordinary weight build-up over time, it just makes sense to protect your back as much as possible whenever you have to lift something. Never lift with your knees and use a hoist, dolly or other piece of assistive equipment whenever possible.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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