When you need to support yourself or feed your family, no job is off limits if it brings in a steady paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with working in retail or fast food – money is money. However, working in construction is an entirely different world. While construction will pay the bills and is reportedly not too stressful, it’s one of the most dangerous jobs around. Someone has to do it, but here are five reasons it’s not worth the risk:
1. If you’re injured, your family will likely suffer
You might not care much about physical injuries. Perhaps everyone in your local emergency room knows you by name. Still, some construction-related injuries can cause your family to suffer. For example, if you break your arm or leg, you’ll be out of work until you’re healed. Even with workers’ compensation, you’ll only receive a portion of your usual pay. If your injuries don’t heal fast enough, your employer might also lay you off.
According to Indeed.com, the average construction worker in New York state makes $15.59 per hour and earns $6,745 in overtime pay per year. That’s a significant amount of income to lose.
With a major injury, you won’t be able to perform simple functions around the house. You’ll struggle with basics. With a broken arm, you’ll have difficulty preparing meals, cleaning, doing laundry, and making the bed. With a head injury, your doctor may advise you not to drive for a while. With a back injury, you’ll be required to rest in bed, and that will put you completely out of commission for a while.
If you were living paycheck-to-paycheck before your injury, you can expect to go into debt while you recover.
2. Construction accidents can be deadly
The risk of being injured on the job is present in every industry, but in construction, accidents are more likely to result in serious injury or death. The majority of construction work is done on scaffolding, which increases the risk of falling. Citing data collected by OSHA, Lipsig Law reports that in 2016, 384 out of 991 total construction deaths (38.7%) were attributed to falls.
You don’t need to fall from great heights to be seriously injured or die; hitting your head on the concrete can be life-threatening. Many falls are the result of preventable safety violations, but workers don’t always have a say in whether employers follow the rules.
If you’re considering going into construction for the money, and you’ve got people depending on you, it’s worth considering a different industry.
3. An injury could force you to give up your hobby
If you have a hobby like playing the guitar, fishing, painting, or something else that requires the use of your hands and fingers, think twice before going into construction. One accident could sever a finger, and even if it gets reattached, you might experience permanent nerve damage.
Don’t go into construction unless you’re willing to give up your hobbies for the extra money you’ll make doing construction.
4. Construction can make your back problems worse
If you already suffer from back problems, construction probably isn’t the right job for you. To work in construction, you need the strength to climb ladders, and pick up and move heavy objects and tools practically all day at a job site. If your back isn’t up to the task, you’re going to struggle or make your back problems worse.
5. Construction can cause back problems
Working in construction can also cause back problems. Strains and sprains are common, even when following proper lifting techniques.
If you still want to work in construction, your best defense against future back problems is to strengthen your core from front to back. Do exercises to strengthen your core, but don’t forget to work your lower back as well. Strengthening your lower back will help prevent sprains and strains.
Other ways to help back pain include wearing a back brace, doing yoga, and using a foam roller regularly.
Think twice before taking a dangerous job
If you love construction, by all means, pursue a job in construction. There are plenty of construction workers who love what they do, and they do a wonderful job. We wouldn’t have any buildings if it weren’t for construction workers. If you have a family, however, it’s worth considering other lines of work. When other people depend on you for financial security, one accident could create unnecessary hardship.