Many occupations come with a risk of back injuries, but physical laborers have an increased exposure to danger. All employers must have protocol in place to reduce the risks on the job. It is their duty to provide workers with a safe working environment.
Back injuries are the leading cause of missed days of work in this country. This can cost businesses money, and it also impacts the employee’s income. The only way to prevent this is for companies to have procedures and guidelines in place to address the dangers, and employees have to comply.
Rules for handling heavy or bulky items
Heavy and bulky items are difficult for one person to handle. Instead, these items must require assistive devices or team lifting. If a person has to pick up one of these items, they may need to wear a back brace to help protect the back. Ideally, equipment like forklifts and cranes will handle the heavy lifting. Even carts and dollies can benefit workers who have to transport items.
Use ergonomic lifting techniques
Workers must lift with their knees to take the pressure off the back. They should only pick up items if they can keep the body square. Having to twist while picking up a heavier item can lead to a back injury. Even if an employee is pushing or pulling something, they should be careful about how much pressure they are putting on the back. The thighs should have the most pressure in these cases.
Immediate reporting is imperative
A back injury can become worse as time progresses if it isn’t taken seriously. Employees might think that they are suffering from back fatigue when there is something more serious going on. Supervisors must know that they can’t be judgmental when a person reports a back issue. They should work to ensure that the person gets proper medical care right away. This can mitigate the damage since the person will be able to start on a treatment protocol right away.
Workers’ compensation should cover the costs of medical care for a work-related back injury. When the person isn’t able to return to work immediately, they may also qualify for partial wage replacement benefits through the program. If another party’s negligence was the cause of the injury, a personal injury claim to seek compensation is possible. No employee should be left to cover the financial burden of an injury that happened while performing their job duties.