As an Indiana construction worker, no one need tell you that most of the jobs you do require you to move, lift and/or carry heavy tools and materials. Not surprisingly, the older you become and the longer you work, the more your back rebels. Ultimately you can wind up with chronic painful back conditions that can result in a serious back injury.

Construction workers like you must take an average of two weeks off work to recover from each back injury you suffer. This amounts to lost wages totaling $46 million per year.

High-risk jobs

Unfortunately, all construction jobs put you at high risk for a back injury. But if you work one of the following jobs, your risk is especially high:

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

More weight than you realize

You probably seldom think about the weight you lift every day at work, but it adds up over time and can eventually seriously disable you. The Center for Construction Research and Training provides this bricklayer example. Assume you lift an average of 200 38-pound bricks every day. Your stunning total weights add up as follows:

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

It goes without saying that you should make every effort to reduce the strain, wear and tear on your back. Always lift with your knees, never with your back. Use a dolly, hoist, etc. whenever you can to move heavy materials. Ask a coworker to help you lift anything that weighs 50 pounds or more.

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