A career in construction can be fairly well paying and rewarding work if you have an interest in building things. Construction workers make up a key pillar of society, moving humanity from the rural to the urban. Unfortunately, construction work is not easy, and years of hard labor can take a toll on your body, as well as your mind.
Damage Done By a Life in Construction
If you spend your whole life working in construction, then you do not face the question of if you will suffer from some form of physical harm to your body or mind. Instead, the questions are: When? What? How severe? How Often? Will the damages be permanent? Some common damages your body could potentially suffer are:
- Back, neck, and limb injuries
- Hearing loss
- Breathing problems
- Mental Fatigue
Back, Neck, and Limb Injuries
Construction workers are prone to back and neck injuries. Injuries of this nature are almost guaranteed at some point if you work in construction long enough.
Even if there is no specific instance of an injury, such as a fall or another type of workplace accident, the daily strain of lifting and moving heavy objects will cause issues over time. It is unavoidable, even for individuals who are in great physical shape, with proper training in how to safely move heavy items.
Back and neck injuries can be extremely troubling as they are often difficult to recover from and instead tend to lead to continual degeneration. Limb injuries generally aren't quite as serious. But, common limb injuries can still keep construction workers off the job for weeks at a time.
Construction sites tend to be very loud work environments. Even with proper protective ear equipment, the noise can be deafening. Hearing loss is a top cause of concern for construction workers, and the damage is irreparable. Unlike cuts and bruises, which heal with time, hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises is irreversible and inescapable in the world of construction.
Construction sites tend to be full of dangerous substances that can damage the lungs if inhaled. Protective masks can help, but over time most construction workers will still breathe in a fair amount of dust, chemicals, paint fumes, and potentially even more dangerous substances.
Exposure to dangerous substances can go beyond breathing problems and lead to a plurality of cancers. One of the top cancers faced by construction workers is mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos exposure is particularly prevalent for construction workers that are involved in the demolition of older buildings. Asbestos was a common form of insulation before its negative health effects were fully revealed to the public, and the use of this dangerous substance declined significantly.
As dangerous as construction work can be to the body both inside and out, one of the biggest concerns for construction workers is not about physical health, but rather mental health. Construction workers tend to work long hours in order to meet demanding deadlines. The long days of back-breaking labor can lead to headaches, anxiety, and depression.
The mental hardship faced by construction workers is so high that it is one of the leading industries for work-related suicides.
Can I Receive Workers' Comp for Chronic Back Problems?
When most people think about workers' comp, they think about an injury caused by an accident at work, but workers' comp covers far more than that. Any impairment, physical or mental, sustained through work, can be cause for a claim.
If you have back problems caused by lifting heavy objects at work, day after day for years, medical treatment and leave can be covered under a workers' comp claim. There does not have to be a specific incident that leads to the injury.
The best way to figure out whether an injury is covered by workers' comp, and to make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to if so, is to hire a competent workers' compensation attorney. A workers' comp attorney can walk you through all of the steps in a workers' compensation claim and help you to recover from your injury without worrying about the associated medical costs.