Back injuries are the result of overworking or impacting the back

Back injuries account for one out of five workplace injuries and illnesses. In most cases, these injuries can be avoided with the right safety precautions and arrangements. For example, wearing a lower back brace to help prevent strain from lifting.

Eighty percent of all injuries to the back occur to the lower back. Most are associated with manual material handling, meaning that they took place while items were being moved. On top of this, it's common for an old back injury to be aggravated if you suffer from a new injury like a lifting injury or sprain from slipping, twisting or falling.

Of course, any part of the body can be affected by a workplace injury. Despite this, it's most often the lower back that is injured at work. Many people don't know when exactly the injury took place, but they realize it has once they feel nerve pain or recurring stiffness in the back. Everyday motions like bending, twisting, pushing, lifting and pulling can result in back injuries immediately or over time.

This is why ergonomics are so important. The right angle of motion can help prevent injuries. The right office chair supports the lower lumbar area of the spine, just as the right height for a table makes working easier.

After a back injury, you need to seek medical assistance. You could be suffering from problems with the nerves in the spinal cord, damage to the vertebrae or from other issues in your back. With too much pressure on the spinal cord, you could feel burning or cold sensations or even find that you lose control of the body parts below the point of injury if the cord is significantly damaged. Your attorney can help you if you need to file for workers' compensation or other benefits for your injuries.

Source: Environmental Health & Safety, University of Virginia, "Ergonomics," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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