Padilla Law Group, LLP

How can work-related back injuries be avoided?

Workplace injuries can arise from a number of circumstances. Some workers are hurt when they fall from scaffolding while others suffer injuries due to being pinned by machinery. Although there are a number of different types of workplace accidents and injuries, one of the most common types of harm suffered are back injuries.

OSHA has provided guidance to businesses in hopes of them making changes to avoid work-related back injuries. For example, when it comes to manually handling material while on the job, OSHA suggests that employers find ways to reduce the amount of weight being handled as well as the range of motion and the frequency with which those objects must be moved. By taking these steps, repetitive stress injuries may be avoided. Also, conveyor belts and carts that items are being lifted from should be built to a height that allows employees to avoid awkward and uncomfortable positions.

In addition to these workplace changes, employers should do their best to ensure that employees are properly trained. Workers should know how to recognize and report hazardous conditions, as well as how to avoid them. Even rotating employees off heavy lifting tasks every hour and encouraging strength and fitness training may reduce the risks associated with this type of work. Employers who provide handrails, footrests and cushioned mats can also reduce exertion that can be caused by standing in one position for a significant period of time.

Even when these precautions are taken, an individual can suffer a back injury while on the job. When this happens, it may be wise to seek out workers' compensation benefits, especially when one's injuries results in medical expenses and lost wages. There are a number of requirements that must be met before recovering these benefits, though, which is why it is usually wise to discuss these matters with a qualified legal professional.


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