Back Injuries in the Workplace

At work, employees should be educated on workplace safety, especially on proper techniques on the prevention of back injuries.

Back injuries are very common in the workplace.  Many employees become victims of mild to serious injuries. The wokplace is one of the hazardous work places in which they can occur. They can be caused by chemical, physical and biological hazards caused by dusts, vapors, radiation, lighting, electricity, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.. These injuries can be caused by repetitive movements, awkward load carrying or manual handling postures,  extra force, poor housekeeping, slip, trip and working stress.

surface back anatomy
Especially at work, keeping your back straight is important. Remember when lifting, use your legs.

A worker can sustain a number of injuries including head and brain injury, repetitive stress injuries, broken bones, hand, arm and back injury. Back injury is the most common of all other workplace injuries as it results from a number of factors. Back injury sufferers can make a claim to get employee compensation if his accident was not his own fault.

Back pain or back injury can be severe when it does not let an employee to focus on his job. In the workplace, the following can be several different causes behind back injuries;

Lifting and manual handling: Lifting heavy loads at the workplace can cause back injury or back pains. Handling loads in awkward positions or exerting to much extra force in lifting can result in severe back problems.

Repetitive Movements: A person involved in tasks that needed repetitive certain types of movements (bending, pushing, pulling and twisting) can also face back injury. Repetitive stress injury can result in muscle fatigue and irritating back pains.

Unchanged positions: A worker involved in tasks that require sitting for a long time can also suffer from back pain.  It affects the natural curve of back that results in muscle pull and tiredness. Excessive unchanged positions over time can intensify the back pain.

Slip, Trip and Fall: Very common cause of back injury is slip, trip or fall type accidents. In the workplace fall due to wet floors, moving parts of equipment and inappropriate instrument provided.

Prevention of Back Injury

Back injury or pain can be reduced or prevented by a variety of exercises. Take regular breaks in difficult handling and lifting tasks. Keep your back straight and bend your knees when lifting. The natural curve of the spinal cord is very important. To avoid back injury to maintain curves in the spine. Some other tips to avoid back pain are; reduce stress from mind, have a balance diet, quit smoking and regular exercise to improve physical strength and flexibility.

Employee’s Health and Social Care

It is the responsibility of employers to provide workplace health and safety of the entire workforce. If a worker falls victim of workplace injury then the employer is liable to compensate his injured employee. The employer should initially fulfill the all requirements to ensure workers’ health and security. In order to avoid back injuries employers should take appropriate safety measures.

Employers should provide appropriate training to the employees for safe lifting techniques. It is best to eliminate manual handling techniques where possible from the workplace otherwise size which can cause back injury. It is important to adjust heights at which materials are to be handled. It can reduce the chances of falling and receiving back injury. Slip and trip hazard can be eliminated by good housekeeping. Employers should make sure that working conditions are clean, safe and hazard free in all respects. Moreover engineering technology and ergonomic designs can be used to improve worker efficiency by reducing back injury chances.

Social care of injured employees is also the duty of the employer. A worker cannot be dismissed or sacked from his job due to his back injury or any other injury caused in the workplace or the employer might face a greater liability. Rather, the employer should give moral support to the worker with a back injury. Employers should give proper working breaks, have proper safety equipment and give lighter work to workers suffering from back injury until they recover.

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