How to Avoid Back Problems on the Job

As experienced workers’ compensation attorneys, we meet with a number of clients who have experienced back pain and injuries while performing the duties of their job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in every five injuries that occurs on the job affects an individual’s back, and more than one million workers suffer from back pain and other related injuries each year.

Employers bear the responsibility of educating and training employees in workplace safety, but employees can take steps to safeguard themselves from back pain and injury at the workplace. Here are simple tactics to help you and your back stay healthy while working.

Avoiding Lifting or Bending
The simplest way to avoid a back injury or chronic pain at the workplace is to avoid activities that place undue strain on your back. In some work environments, you can forego lifting heavy objects or bending throughout the day by strategically placing items you use on a regular basis off the floor. Similarly, heavy items should not be placed on high shelves when possible. If your work requires that heavy items be moved consistently, use carts, dollies, lift tables or other lift assist mechanisms to transport items instead of carrying them on your own.

Use Proper Techniques
When lifting items is an unavoidable task, utilizing proper lifting techniques can protect your back from undue pain and injury. Always start by bending your knees, keeping a balanced stance with your feet placed shoulder width apart. When a sturdy base is created, the spine is under less pressure when lifting or moving heavy objects takes place. Squatting down to reach an object instead of bending at the waist provides a stronger foundation as well, and avoiding fast movements reduces the probability of incurring an injury. When necessary, ask for assistance or reduce the weight of the object so that it is more manageable.

Regular Body Management
In addition to avoiding lifting heavy objects and using proper technique when the task is necessary, body management is key to reducing the probability of a back injury at the workplace. Regular stretching is integral to keeping your muscles strong and it protects the body from strains or painful twists. Additionally, resting the back is important, especially when your job requires you to sit or stand for extended periods of time. Schedule short breaks to help release pressure that may be building on your spine throughout the day. Finally, regular exercise that is focused on strengthening your core, leg, and back muscles helps in reducing back pain and injury on the job.

Speak with our New Jersey Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you have suffered a back injury or pain due to the requirements of your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. While each circumstance varies, there are instances when additional compensation is due to you from your employer. To help you determine your rights as an employee who has suffered a back injury while working, contact Petro Cohen, P.C. today.