Back injuries account for nearly 33 percent of work-related injuries

Back injuries are common after activities involving pushing, pulling, lifting and other exerting actions. Such harm can occur in any work industry. When back injuries occur, workers are often forced to take a break from their jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that musculoskeletal disorders that result from arduous employment activities, such as back injuries, account for roughly 33 percent of all work-related injuries in America. Back injuries are especially common among employees in the following industries:

  • Food services.
  • Custodial work.
  • Childcare.
  • Maintenance and operations.

These are just a few of the fields that require constant lifting.

The good news is that some employers are starting to extensively train employees in proper lifting techniques. The goal is to reduce not only the frequency, but also the severity of injuries.

For example, some of the following conditions make lifting much easier for an employee:

  • No twisting.
  • The item is at waist height.
  • The item is in front of the person.
  • The object has a handle.
  • The load inside the item does not shift upon lifting.

If some of these conditions are not present, then it may be unsafe for a person to lift the load. If this is the case, the worker should utilize modifications to make the lift safer. For example, one could decrease the weight of the load. A worker might also ask for assistance with lifting the load. Moreover, a person could use mechanical assistance to accomplish the task (for example, a cart).

To prevent the overwhelming number of back injuries, it would help if employers supported modifications or changes to physical tasks. Anything that can make the job physically easier will help prevent the chance of injury on the job. Ultimately, this can create a safer working environment for everyone.

Furthermore, if workers are harmed at the workplace, it may be a good idea for employees to go through a work hardening program, which helps workers that are returning to work transition into everyday tasks with ease. This type of program could help gradually condition employees' muscles back into a sufficient condition for heavy lifting.

If you are injured at your workplace, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. Back and other injuries can be egregious, and it may take time before you fully get back into shape. However, the workers' compensation system can help support your needs as you take the time to heal. Moreover, if you are permanently harmed from a work-related accident, there are other benefits available, too. To learn more about the recovery system and any applicable rights, speak to a qualified workers' compensation firm in your area.