Minnesota workers may be interested to learn about one of the most common injuries in the workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 1 million workers suffer from back pain each year, and it is the second most common reason that employees miss work. While lower back problems may not be catastrophic in nature, they are often painful and debilitating. Lower back issues are difficult to recover from completely, and those who suffer from this kind of injury are also prone to re-injury.
Studies indicate that certain work activities can cause lower back disorders. According to the National Safety Council, about 25 percent of all work-related injuries are caused by overexertion of the muscles, and that cause is listed as 60 percent of all lower back injuries. Moreover, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that individuals whose job exposes them to whole body vibration or requires heavy lifting and forceful movements are more at risk of suffering a back injury.
Employers may be able to take some basic preventative steps to reduce the number of lower back injuries suffered by their workers. The physical demands of a job should be considered when selecting a candidate, and proper lifting technique should be taught to workers once they have been hired. The nature of the work could also be analyzed to identify ways to minimize the stresses placed on the lower back.
Minnesota workers injured on the job may file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits to cover their lost income and medical expenses. The question of who was at fault is not considered when a workers’ compensation claim is assessed, but the process may still be complex. An attorney familiar with the procedures involved may evaluate a worker’s claim as well as advocate on their behalf.
Source: Central States Orthopedics , “Work-Related Injuries — Lower Back“, October 22, 2014