As a Florida construction worker, no one need tell you that your job requires you to lift, move and carry heavy objects on a day-to-day basis. No one needs to tell you that your back takes a constant beating as a result of these on-the-job activities. What you may not realize, however, is that 25 percent of all work-related injuries result from musculoskeletal disorders. Forty percent of these represent serious back injuries.
You can easily develop a musculoskeletal disorder from the constant strains your back receives due to your work. These strains build up over time and affect the muscles, tendons and nerves of your back, usually resulting in constant back pain.
While all construction workers face risk of back injury, your risk is greatest if your job is one of the following:
- Drywall installer
- Jackhammer operator
- Stonemason or bricklayer
- Floor or wall tile installer
Sobering load-lifting example
You probably never even think about how much you lift every day at work. Consequently, this classic bricklayer example may be a real eye-opener. The basic assumption here is that you are a bricklayer who lifts a 38-pound brick upwards of 200 times per workday. Your total lifted poundage consists of the following:
- 3.8 tons each day
- 19 tons each week
- 950 tons each year
Given those astounding figures, it is no wonder that construction workers suffer so many back injuries. It is also no wonder that during 2014 alone, construction workers lost wages totaling over $46 million when they had to take off an average of eight days each time they had to recover from a musculoskeletal disorder.
Lost wages due to injury can often be compensated for under existing law. It is important to seek full and fair compensation for all expenses, including medical costs and lost wages, after an injury.