Bricklayers have a specialized art, with their work enhancing buildings of all types. This job involves inherent risks, and bricklayers and masons are likely to suffer injuries and illnesses directly related to the work they perform. It is necessary to ensure that all safety precautions are in place on any worksite to reduce the risk of a serious or fatal accident.
Types of Injuries and Illnesses Affecting Bricklayers and Masons
The materials used in this profession are very heavy, and many injuries are related to lifting, carrying, and dropping masonry materials. The job also involves working at heights, and falls from ladders, scaffolding or high elevation floors can lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fatal injuries. The types of injuries commonly sustained by bricklayers include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Strains, sprains, tendon damage to joints, back, shoulder, wrist
- Lacerations, bruising, crush injuries from falling materials
- Cumulative injuries from lifting, bending, kneeling
- Electric shocks from contact with live cables or wiring
- Spinal cord injuries from falls or caught in or between
- Severe respiratory illnesses from inhaling toxic chemicals, dust from materials
Being hit by a falling object, such as dropped tools or equipment, falling loads of materials, can cause brain damage, severe or disfiguring lacerations, or worse. The tools used in the profession, such as hand tools, power tools such as drills and mixers, and lifting devices can malfunction, fall, or fail, causing diverse types of serious to fatal injuries on the job.
Bricklayers – Strenuous Activities and Physical Damage
Bricklayers and masons work with a range of very heavy materials with inherent risks to body health and strength. The strenuous work performed by these professionals include the following activities:
- Lifting heavy materials
- Lifting and using heavy tools for extended periods
- Bending, kneeling
- Cutting heavy masonry materials
- Shifting materials used to make mortar
Safety Precautions for Bricklayers
To protect your health, several safety precautions must be in place and closely followed. These include:
- Avoid skin contact with any unhardened cement product.
- Ensure your clothing is sufficiently impervious to toxic cement ingredients
- Ensure all electric tools are in good shape, with the necessary guards in place
- Wear boots or shoes that will protect your feet if hit by falling masonry materials, tools, or objects
- Always wear the required respiratory protection equipment to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals
- Ensure you are protected by a safety harness when working at an elevation
- If you are hit by a falling object, immediately seek a medical evaluation
Injured on the Job? The Steps to Take to Seek Compensation
If you have been injured while performing your duties as a bricklayer, you must do all that is required to receive the benefits you are due through workers’ compensation. The processes involved are complicated, and many injured workers get help from an attorney rather than attempting it themselves, particularly in cases of serious injuries, or for families who have lost a loved one and are seeking survivor’s benefits. If injured on the job, take these steps:
- If you are still in danger, move away if possible.
- Notify your employer as soon as possible. You will need to do so to begin the process of receiving benefits from workers’ comp.
- Get medical treatment immediately. Ensure you are attending a medical facility approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. If you were taken to the ER, ensure the medical professionals treating you are approved by the Board.
- Connect with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses, & Halperin, LLP today for a free case consultation at (212) 986-7353.