If you work construction in North Carolina or Virginia, you know that your back takes a beating as your perform your duties from day to day. So many of them require you to lift, move or otherwise maneuver heavy objects and equipment.

This constant strain on your back can quickly lead to your developing a painful musculoskeletal condition or even sustain an outright back injury. Needless to say, your risk of back problems increases the older you become and the longer you work construction.

High-risk jobs

While all construction jobs take a heavy toll on your back, your risk of injury increases even more if you work as one of the following:

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

The incredible weight you lift

The Center for Construction Research and Training gives an eye-opening example of why the muscles and tendons in your back deteriorate over time when you work construction. In this example, you work as a bricklayer who lifts about 200 38-pound bricks as part of your daily work. Believe it or not, this seemingly light load translates into the following astounding figures:

  • For every day you work, you lift 3.8 tons
  • For every week you work, you lift 19 tons
  • For every year you work, you lift 950 tons

Given these incredible weights, your best strategy consists of doing everything possible to protect your back while on the job. For instance, when you must lift something, rely on your legs and knees, not just your back, to help you do it. Whenever possible, lift and move things with a forklift, hoist, dolly, etc. rather than with your body. And never attempt to lift anything weighing 50 pounds or more without the help of a coworker.

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