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Why do construction workers suffer so many back injuries?

As a Pennsylvania construction worker, no one need tell you that your back undergoes significant strain and stress every day because of the heavy objects and equipment you must move, lift and/or maneuver on your various job sites.

It is not surprising, therefore, that your job puts you at constant risk for receiving a back injury or developing a painful muscuoloskeletal condition. In fact, construction workers like you face more risk of back injuries than any other category of workers.

Particularly high-risk occupations

While all construction workers tend to sustain more than their share of back injuries, your risk of sustaining one becomes especially high if your occupation consists of one of the following:

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

Jaw-dropping weights

The Center for Construction Research and Training provides a truly jaw-dropping example of the cumulative amount of weight you likely lift while on the job. The underlying assumption consists of your being a bricklayer who lifts approximately 200 bricks each day, each of which weighs 38 pounds. The accumulated totals add up to the following:

  • 8 tons every day
  • 19 tons every week
  • 950 tons every year

Given the mind-boggling weights your job requires you to lift and move, it goes without saying that you should always use good judgment when lifting heavy objects. For instance, always get a co-worker to help you lift loads that weigh 50 or more pounds. Or use a dolly, forklift, hoist or some other kind of equipment when lifting or moving such heavy loads.

While you should not interpret this educational information as legal advice, it can help you understand why construction workers suffer so many back injuries.

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