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On-the-Job Injuries Among Bricklayers and Masons

Injuries and illnesses affect bricklayers and masons more than the national average; this is true for most construction-related trades. Academic researchers and government agencies have identified conditions and circumstances more likely to result in on-the-job injury or illness.

Common Injuries Among Bricklayers

Common injuries include musculoskeletal injuries resulting from lifting heavy loads of bricks and other construction materials. The act of laying bricks requires bending, twisting and squatting. An average mason lays 1,000 bricks a day; the result can be significant repetitive motion strain. Suffering cuts, head injuries and broken bones from falling or being hit is another common injury.

Causes of Injury and Illness

Masonry construction is recognized as one of the high-risk construction trades not only because of the probably of developing muscle, back and leg problems as a result of the motions required by the work. Falls from scaffolding and ladders are other significant causes of injury and death among this group of construction workers. The other important cause of injury or death among masons and bricklayers is being hit by a falling or swinging object. A fourth source of injury and occupational illness is the silica dust that masonry work creates. A fifth is the danger of being cut by the sharp tools used in masonry work. Despite these, workers in this industry classification do not face a higher risk of death than other construction trades. However, the chance of being injured on the job has been shown to be significant.

New York Has The Most Bricklayers and Masons in the United States

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the greatest number of masons and bricklayers in the United States are in New York State – 5,050 workers. Almost half of the NY workers are employed in the greater New York City metropolitan statistics area. One study showed that laborers, rather than masons or foremen, were more likely to accidents or injuries on the job.

Causes of On-The-Job Fatalities

A 2010 report from the Center for Construction Research and Training showed that the leading cause of death among bricklayers and masons is falls to a lower level. Industry groups and labor unions have proposed several ways to reduce on-the-job hazards that affect masons and bricklayers, such as making stocks of bricks and blocks higher to reduce bending and twisting; and to use adjustable scaffolding to prevent workers from having to reach above their heads when performing work.

What Do Bricklayers and Masons Do?

The work performed by bricklayers and masons includes:

  • Grinding
  • Layout
  • Materials handling
  • Block laying
  • Mixing mortar
  • Installation of steel components
  • Erecting and dismantling scaffolding
  • Grouting
  • Equipment repair
  • Shoring

Lawyers Representing Members of the Bricklayers Union

The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy are proud to have represented members of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union in New York City. We have obtained significant awards and settlements for members of this union, both on the job and off. For example, we obtained a $3,500,000 settlement for a union member who was injured in a car accident. We also obtained $5,900,000 for a union bricklayer injured on the job at a New York City school renovation. Do not hesitate to contact the firm for more information.