Back injuries result in painful days spent at home in bed, lost productivity at the office and costly medical bills. In some cases, workers even become disabled as a result of a painful back injury. But how do these back injuries occur? Are there any common mistakes that workers and their employers make that lead to the prevalence of back injuries on the job?
Here are four major causes of on-the-job back injuries:
Poor training: Every worker should be educated on how much weight it's safe to lift. They should also be taught how to safely lift and carry. Not every worker's intuitive sense for lifting objects will keep them safe. Training can do a lot to reduce the risks of on-the-job back injuries.
Bad lifting technique: Several lifting techniques can prevent numerous workplace back injuries. Employers should continually remind workers of safe lifting technique so they don't forget. One week employers can focus on lifting by bending at the legs, lifting from their cores and not arching or lifting with their backs. Another week, employers can focus on teaching workers to keep heavy objects close to their bodies. Constant reminders and reinforcement is best.
Skewed perception: A worker who regularly lifts heavy objects may not realize how much the lifting is actually taking a toll. This could cause them to become tired or overexert themselves. Workers need to be reminded of lifting limits and injury risks to prevent these kinds of injuries.
Taking too few trips: When workers are in a rush, they might lift more than is safe. It's important for workers to take extra trips rather than risking a back injury.
If you injured your back on the job, it doesn't matter if it was your fault or your employer's, you will probably have the ability to pursue a workers' compensation claim to pay for your medical care and time spent unable to do your job as a result of your injuries.
Source: Safe Start, "4 Major Causes of Workplace Back Injuries (and What to Do About Them)," accessed Jan. 12, 2018