Drywall workers compensation claims often involve low back or neck injuries. Drywallers injure their lumbar and cervical discs from job duties over time and from single traumatic incidents. Drywallers apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings as well as mounting acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials are often heavy but it is the awkward positions drywallers are required to work in that often cause or contribute to the herniated lumber or herniated cervical discs, resulting fusion surgery. Specialized drywallers include lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings or partitions of buildings to provide support base for plaster, fire-proofing, or acoustical material. Plasterers apply coats of plaster to interior walls, ceilings, and partitions of buildings, to produce finished surface.
Job duties that contribute to a back or neck injury include measuring and marking surfaces to lay out work, according to blueprints or drawings, using tape measures, straightedges or squares, and marking devices. Drywallers fit and fasten wallboard or drywall into position on wood or metal frameworks, using glue, nails, or screws. Measure and cut openings in panels or tiles for electrical outlets, windows, vents, plumbing, or other fixtures, using keyhole saws or other cutting tools. Some of the heaviest work involves hanging drywall panels on frameworks of walls and ceilings in offices, schools, or other large buildings, using lifts or hoists to adjust panel heights when necessary.
Drywall finishers cover the seams between drywall panels. Drywallers cut and screw together metal channels to make floor or ceiling frames. Often they must cut metal or wood framing and trim to size, and install horizontal and vertical metal or wooden studs to frames so that wallboard can be attached to interior walls. Also must install blanket insulation between studs and tack plastic moisture barriers over insulation. Heavy prep work involves removing existing plaster, drywall, or paneling, using crowbars and hammers. This demo work is tough, heavy work.
In handling and moving objects drywallers use their hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. Physical activities require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin McCormick Law Office attorneys represent drywallers and plasterers with low back and neck worker’s compensation claim injuries. We strongly support organized labor including members of IUPATDC Locals 108, 579, 770, 781, 802, 934, 941 and 1204, members of District Council No. 7. Also plasterers from Local 599 of the Plasterer and Cement Mason union.