Painters who prepare and apply paint, stain and other applications to walls, trim and buildings incur workers compensation claims in Wisconsin when they are hurt on the job in single traumatic accidents or from job duties over time.

Painters have traumatic workers compensation injuries including falls from ladders, muscle strains from lifting, and exposure to irritants such as drywall dust are common risks.

We also see painters with chronic, back or neck injuries from their job duties over years of physical labor. Painting is a physical job, and some of the following job duties can contribute to a work-related back or neck injury or degenerative condition:

Covering floors and furniture with drop cloths and tarps to protect surfaces

Removing fixtures such as pictures, doorknobs, or electric switch covers

Putting up scaffolding and setting up ladders

Filling holes and cracks with putty, plaster, or other compounds

Clean walls to ensure proper adherence

Preparing surfaces by scraping, wire brushing, or sanding

Tape off areas when needed

Work on ladders to reach high ceilings or walls

Applying primers or sealers

Applying paint or other finishes, using handbrushes, rollers, or sprayers

Industrial painters use special equipment such as protective gear, scaffolding, bosun’s chairs, and harnesses

Maintenance painters remove old finishes and apply paints, stains, and coatings

Painting requires a lot of climbing, bending, kneeling, and stretching. Industrial painters typically work outdoors and may be exposed to extreme heights and uncomfortable positions; some painters are suspended by ropes or cables as they work. Painting requires physical stamina and painters should be able to stay physically active for many hours, because they spend most of the day standing with their arms extended.

These painter physical job duties can cause work-related lumbar low back pain or cervical neck pain resulting in radiculopathy or a pinched nerve root. The pinched or compressed nerve is often the result of a herniated disc or bulging disc. The medical treatment may include nerve decompression through a laminectomy or foraminotomy, or discectomy or possible fusion surgery.

Organized labor has done much to improve the working conditions of painters in the United States over the last 120 years. In southeastern Wisconsin, union painters are represented by Locals 108, 579, 770, 781, 802, 934, 941 and 1204, which are part of District Council No. 7 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO.

McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin provided legal representation for injured workers in workers compensation claims. Insurance companies use independent medical examiners, IME doctors, to deny paying workers compensation benefits, claiming the injuries are pre-existing or degenerative in nature. Our attorneys ferret out the medical records and opinions to get to the truth.