All construction work is inherently dangerous, so workers must be vigilant in protecting themselves from a sudden injury on the job. But employees who would never enter a worksite without a hardhat and safety goggles might still be at risk of soft-tissue injuries—particularly those who hang drywall.
Wearing gloves and masks will often prevent sudden superficial injuries, but research has shown that injuries are likely to run deep in workers who hang drywall, including:
- Back pain. Drywall sheets may weigh anywhere between twenty to over a hundred pounds, placing workers at risk of back sprains, strains, and disc degeneration due to daily heavy lifting. In addition, lifting heavy objects while bending (often required when hanging drywall) is known to significantly increase the chances of back injuries.
- Lost grip. Lifting, cutting, sanding and taping cause small injuries to the hands and fingers, while working under cold or wet conditions can make it difficult for workers to realize their hands have been damaged. Repeated holding, grasping, and pinching actions can lead to arthritis in the hands and fingers, causing eventual loss of hand grip strength.
- Repetitive stress injuries. Even when employees practice safe lifting and installation techniques, continued installation can cause repetitive stress injuries. Drywall carpenters may develop tendonitis from holding drywall sheets in place, knee injuries due to lifting, and shoulder or neck injuries from doing work at awkward angles.
- Falls. Serious falls have long been associated with drywall installation. Many workers have suffered injuries as a result of losing their balance while lifting heavy sheets, slipping while carrying a sheet up stairs or ramps, or when standing on a ladder to hold a bulky sheet in place. Large sheets also impair a worker’s peripheral vision, making trips and falls while carrying sheets overwhelmingly likely.
Our Information Can Help You Get the Compensation You Need to Heal Properly
The most common injuries suffered while installing drywall at work include strains, sprains, and tears, but many workers will endure severe damage that requires weeks off work and intensive medical care. To learn how to get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve during your recovery, read through our free accident guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.