Serious back injuries in the workplace can be both painful and costly. While personal actions do play a role in some cases, there are many instances where back injuries occur through no fault of the worker.
Understanding these common sources of workplace-related back injuries can help employees and employers alike take preventive measures.
Heavy lifting requirements
In many industries, employees need to move heavy objects as part of their job. This can include packages or materials. When employers fail to provide proper lifting equipment or training, it can lead to serious back injuries. Employees may have no option but to manually lift heavy objects, putting immense strain on their backs.
Some jobs demand long hours of standing or sitting without sufficient breaks. Prolonged periods of immobility can lead to muscle fatigue and back strain. Employers must prioritize regular breaks and provide opportunities for employees to stretch and move around.
Considering the 37,060 nonfatal incidents that arose from intentional workplace violence in 2020, employees need to take into account the risk of sudden injuries from other employees while at work. Physical altercations can result in serious back injuries, including fractures.
Proper training is important for employees in physically demanding jobs. Without adequate training on safe lifting techniques, the use of heavy machinery or the handling of materials, employees may inadvertently put themselves at risk of back injuries.
Lack of safety equipment
In jobs that involve working at heights or in hazardous environments, the lack of appropriate safety equipment can be a significant factor in back injuries. Employers must provide employees with the necessary protective gear and ensure its proper use.
In the time after an accident or incident, a person may not realize how severe their back injury is. Seeking medical help is just the first part of preventing worse injuries later on.