A mason and bricklayer is a craftsman who lays stones, cinder blocks and bricks in construction of building, walls and other structures. A mason who lays bricks may be called a bricklayer. Workers compensation low back and neck injuries are very common with masons and bricklayers for obvious reasons. The heavy, repetitive hard work job duties result in herniated lumbar discs and cervical discs.
In addition to reading blueprints and drawings, they must calculate materials needed and lay out patterns. But it is the physical parts of the job that result in workers compensation claims. Masons or bricklayers break or cut bricks, stones, or blocks to the needed sizes. They mix mortar or grout and spread it onto a slab or foundation, before picking up and setting the bricks, blocks, or stones. Then cleaning excess mortar with trowels and other hand tools generally involves bending at the waist and reaching with outstretched arms. Similar motions are done to fill in expansion joints with the caulking materials. They may clean and polish surfaces by hand.
Brickmasons and blockmasons–often called bricklayers–build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, precast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials. Pointing, cleaning, and caulking workers repair brickwork, particularly on older structures on which mortar is loose. Care must be taken not to damage the structural integrity or the existing bricks.
Refractory masons are brickmasons who specialize in installing firebrick, gunite, castables, and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers, furnaces, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits in industrial establishments.
Stonemasons build stone walls, as well as set stone exteriors and floors. They work with two types of stone: natural-cut stone, such as marble, granite, and limestone; and artificial stone, made from concrete, marble chips, or other masonry materials. Using a special hammer or a diamond-blade saw, workers cut stone to make various shapes and sizes. Some stonemasons specialize in setting marble, which is similar to setting large pieces of stone.
Mason and Bricklayer work is physically demanding, involving lifting heavy materials and standing, kneeling, and bending for long periods. Injuries can come from single traumatic incidents like lifting material or falling from a scaffold. Or injury build up over time from job duties over years showing up on MRI results and in pain down the leg.
McCormick Law Office attorneys represent union and nonunion injured workers. But we strongly support organized labor including Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers BAC Locals 4, 5, 8 and 21. John F. Kennedy said: “Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.”