Just like any other trades, carpentry is hard and it could take a toll on your body, the nature of the work is physical and it is part of the everyday job.
So, when someone tells you that being a carpenter is hard on your body, it really is. But there are preparations you can do to smoothen the impact of the physical work on your body.
If you’re a beginner, I don’t like to discourage you entering this trade, but I just want to make a point that you have to be prepared physically if you want to be a carpenter.
Hence, we’ve compiled these complaints of people who had been in this trade for a long time and we’ve given recommendations on how you can prepare for the actual work.
In our different endeavor, especially in the career, we like to pursue, one of the important aspects of being in any job or profession is being adequately prepared for whatever situation you may face along the way so that you stay on the job you love.
Here are the things we’ve heard from people and the pieces of advice you can do.
Bodily Injuries You Could Get or Suffer From When Working as a Carpenter
We all know that carpentry can be very hard simply because it involves a lot of manual labor. By doing such manual work, you could get injured or hard yourself. Here are some of the bodily injuries you could encounter by working in this trade:
- Dehydration is the number one foe when working outdoors in hot and sunny weather - Workers have heat tolerance, and sadly, many of them have experienced dehydration some time while working in hot weather. Not taking enough fluids to keep the body hydrated can significantly cause heat stress – a serious condition when the body cannot maintain a healthy temperature of 37C, it could cause headache and dizziness, feeling faint, or excessive sweating, or even stroke. Carpenters are at risk of heat stress, just keep your body hydrated by drinking a lot of water while working on a sunny day.
- Hearing loss and acquiring arthritis over the years of work as a carpenter - Not wearing hearing protection and knee pads can take a toll. The knee pads and earplugs are the two basic but vital personal protective equipment (PPE) you can use to protect you from having a hearing loss or suffering from arthritis over the years of working. Many people regret not having these on the job and later suffer agony. When working as a carpenter, get a decent PPE such as knee pads, earplugs, safety glass, hard hat.
- Back injuries are a real problem - Heavy lifting and having several pounds of tools strapped on your body all day can really take a toll on your back. The work can put significant stress on your back. To prevent such injury, when on standing position, balance your weight on your feet and do some stretching when you feel it is time to do such activity. Stretch your legs, back, shoulder and chest. And one of the things you can do to prevent back injuries is when lifting heavy objects, use your legs and keep the load as close to your body, and if the load is too heavy ask a colleague to assist you.
- A long period of standing or leaning over can definitely cause hamstring strain - These activities of everyday job can stiffen your hamstrings. If you feel pains at the back your legs, it could be a symptom that you are suffering from a hamstring strain. Actually, this injury is common for tradesmen who are doing significant physical work. To prevent from having such injury, try not to overload your muscle as working too much can stretch it to its limit. Give your body a time to have a break, even for a few minutes if you can do so.
- When you reach 60 years old, you could get terrible posture from working as a carpenter since the work involves a lot of leaning and sitting - Working in a stooped position for an extended period of time can cause stress and fatigue on your body especially on your back and shoulder. Sit or kneel when working to compensate with the level of the ground or platform you’re working. And always remember to do regular breaks even in a short period to do some stretching to flex the muscles and bones. Give your body a regular stretching regime will improve posture.
- Callus on fingers and palm by working with bear hand - When doing repetitive tasks such as hammering or lifting can cause callus on your fingers and palm. If you left it untreated, it could thicken and you could put out a lit cigarette on it. Go get a good pair of gloves, not only it will protect your hand from having a callus, the gloves can also prevent splinters from injuring your hand.
- Foreign body in the eye while working on a windy day - Small pieces of wood or metal or even sand can halt your work when it comes in contact with your eye. Actually, this type of injury is a common occurrence in the construction site. If you’re a carpenter who works in this type of workplace, you know the importance of having a good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from foreign bodies.
Being a skilled carpenter takes a lot of work and you could hurt yourself. Getting injuries while working is an inevitable part of the job. The bottom line is you should be careful to look after and take care of yourself.
Having a Strong Body is One of the Requirements to be a Carpenter
It doesn’t matter what kind of carpenter you want to be, the truth is that the very nature of the job involves hard work and manual labor, thus, having a strong body and good physical stamina is one of the requirements if you want to pursue this career.
You could find yourself doing things like climbing ladders, working on elevated platforms, lifting and carrying heavy objects such as sheets of plywoods, and even bending or stooping for long periods of time. These activities are repetitive in an everyday job and could take a serious toll on your body – and you need physical endurance to do all of these.
Before you could be accepted by an employer for an entry-level job or in an apprenticeship training offered by a union, you would still have to pass a screening process. One of the screenings you have to undergo is the physical test. They just want to make sure you have what it takes to withstand working for long hours since the nature of the job is more physical. In addition to this, most types of carpenters need to work in extreme weather which requires you to have a strong stamina to keep up with the demand of the job.
Having physical strength and body is one of the qualities the employer or union wants to look for an applicant before they can be given an acceptance paper. Be prepared for the work, the carpentry job is physically demanding.
It is extremely important if you want to be a carpenter, you need to have the physical strength and stamina to stay on the job.
There is no doubt that working as a carpenter is hard on your body. The manual labor involved could take a toll on your body. At the end of the day, the key in working as a carpenter and stay on it is to work smarter and take care of your health.
Just a word of advice. The challenges involved in doing the work of a carpenter is what makes you better. These trials refine your carpentry skills and develop you as a person. And I could say that it is a good thing. If you want to excel in this trade, accept the challenges with open arms... and you will see, you’ll reap great rewards in the end.