Back Injuries In The Workplace
A back injury can be a life changing experience. Back-injuries are painful and when either extensive or not properly treated, they can lead to life-long disability.
Back injuries also often prove to be extremely costly. Although they are of the most common type of work-related injury in the United States, many are preventable. Some preventative responsibilities fall to the employer, while others fall to the worker. However, when severe back injuries occur, employees are almost always entitled to some kind of compensation for their medical care and suffering.
Those Most at Risk
According to statistics released by the Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund of North America, back injuries are among the most common work related injury in which occurs in the United States. Those working in construction are highest at risk, but any job that requires overextension can cause back injury.
Company and Worker Responsibilities
Both companies and workers owe it to themselves to prevent back-related injuries from happening in the first place. Several preventative measures which can be implemented in any workplace include:
- Educating employees on back-related safety procedures and tips
- Providing proper safety equipment to employees when necessary
- Keeping work space clear and safe
- Encouraging the use of assistance-type tools, such as dollies and hoists
- Fostering a work culture in which employees help one another
Workers also have a special interest in preventing injury and protecting their own health. Simple preventative behaviors include:
- Stretching before, during and after work
- Staying in good shape, generally
- Remembering to lift with the legs instead of the back
By working together, companies and employees can prevent injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ Compensation laws were passed in New York State in 1914. They help to provide a safety net for employees suffering from injuries and illnesses caused by factors in the workplace. When back injuries cannot be prevented, workers’ compensation will help to ensure that workers are taken care of and can hopefully return to work.
Worker’s compensation lawyers try to evaluate individual cases in order to make the connection between back injury and work-related factors a clear one. As a result, it is truly important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney once you become injured, in order to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.