What actions can individuals take to reduce their risk while performing their tasks at work? In the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Health estimates that approximately 20% of all workplace injuries are back injuries. Workers who incorporate protective steps, including stretching exercises and the use of protective equipment can reduce their risk. Here are some tips for workers to prevent workplace accidents:
- Wear Proper Shoes and Gloves. A solid grip and stable traction can protect workers from slip and fall accidents.
- Don't Lift Heavy Loads by Hand. Workers should always assess the actual weight of an object before attempting to lift it. If an object weighs more than the individual can safely lift, then hand trucks, dollies, or pallet jacks should be used instead.
- Avoid Overexertion. Workers should not attempt to show off or demonstrate how much they can lift. If a load is heavy, split it into more manageable segments to avoid straining back muscles and sprains. If the object requires lifting above the shoulders, use a ladder rather than trying to raise the load to a level that could cause you to lose your balance or strain your muscles.
- Stretch Before Lifting. Workers who stretch before lifting are less likely to suffer an injury. Workers should stretch for 10-15 minutes before and after work to help release tension in the muscles.
- Lift from the Knees. Workers should bend their knees, keep the back straight, and hold the object as close as possible to the chest when lifting.
- Engage in Regular Exercise. Regular exercise helps keep the back muscles limber and loose. Engaging in physical activity outside of work helps the individual maintain their health and reduce the risk of other injuries as well.
Treating Back Injuries
There are many types of treatment available for musculoskeletal injuries. The treatment for your back injury depends on whether you have a strain, sprain, or herniated disk. In all cases, it is important to thoroughly document the injury and follow the employer's required reporting procedures. Correctly reporting the injury is essential as failure to do so can result in denial of a workers' compensation claim.
Treatment for a back injury can include physical therapy, chiropractic care, medication, and surgical intervention. One of the most important things to do following a back injury is to take steps to prevent exacerbating the damage. Not "taking care" can complicate the recovery process and cause significant damage to the spine and muscles.
Call in the Bull to speak with a back injury lawyer about your accident. Our team can help you pursue claims for compensation in Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. You can call us at 1-800-241-BRAD, or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney. You can reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL.