Many New Yorkers don’t consider the possibility that they could get hurt while on the job. However, workplace accidents and injuries are common in both the state and workplaces across the U.S. Back injuries that occur because of working conditions can be debilitating and force employees to miss work while they heal. While employees who suffer injuries to their backs are entitled to pursue benefits through workers’ compensation claims, it is best to understand the common types of back injuries and how to prevent them.
Common causes of workplace back injuries
Workplace back injuries resulting in workers’ compensation claims can be caused by any of the following actions:
- Improper lifting
- Repetitive movements that involve twisting and turning
- Sitting for long periods with poor posture
Fortunately, there are steps people can take to mitigate their risks of back injuries at work.
Preventing back injuries in the workplace
Lifestyle changes can help workers prevent certain types of back injuries that can result from a sedentary job. Workers should strive to maintain a healthy weight by exercising and maintaining good nutritional habits. They should also pay attention to their posture to prevent back pain and get up and stretch at least once per hour. Those who have jobs requiring lifting or repetitive movements should use proper lifting techniques or modify tasks that are repetitive.
Employers should also take steps to prevent workplace back injuries. They should ensure their employees have safety equipment and always use it. For example, employees whose jobs require them to work at height should have fall protection systems to prevent serious injuries if they fall. Workers with desk jobs should be provided with ergonomic equipment and chairs with good back support. Employees should also be allowed to modify repetitive tasks to place less strain on their backs and undergo training about safe work practices.