Back injuries are one of the most common types of workplace injuries in Illinois and can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Employers and employees need to understand the causes of back injuries, as well as strategies for preventing and managing them.
Causes of workplace back injuries
Back injuries in the workplace can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive motions, awkward postures, lifting heavy objects and slips and falls. Some jobs, such as manual labor and construction, are at a higher risk for back injuries due to the physical demands of the job. Furthermore, underlying medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or arthritis, can increase the risk of back injuries in the workplace.
Back injury prevention
There are several strategies that employers can implement to help prevent back injuries in the workplace. Employers should provide ergonomic equipment and tools to reduce the risk of back injuries. This can include adjustable chairs, proper lifting techniques and equipment that reduces the need for awkward postures.
Employees should also be trained on proper lifting techniques and other safety measures to reduce the risk of back injuries. Workers should be encouraged to take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move their bodies, reducing the risk of back injuries from repetitive motions. Employers should implement safety policies to reduce the risk of back injuries, such as proper storage of heavy objects and using slip-resistant flooring.
Managing Back Injuries
If an employee does experience a back injury, it is important to manage the injury in a timely and effective manner. This may include the following steps.
Seeking medical attention
Employees should seek medical attention as soon as possible after a back injury to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Workers’ compensation can help injured employees with the financial burden of recovering from damage to their back.
Taking time off work
Employees may need to take time off work to allow their backs to heal. In Illinois, if you are away from work for more than three days, Workers’ Comp insurance should make full or partial payments to you.
Physical therapy can help manage back injuries and improve overall function and strength. Workers’ Comp should cover the cost of this.
Returning to work gradually
When an employee is ready to return to work, they should do so gradually. It’s advisable to start with lighter tasks and gradually increase the amount and intensity of their work.
Keep your back injury-free
Back injuries are a common problem in the workplace and can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Employers and employees should be aware of the causes of back injuries, as well as strategies for preventing and managing them. By taking the proper steps to prevent back injuries, employees can reduce their risk of experiencing a back injury in the workplace.