Neck & Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are some of the most widely reported workplace injuries. According to OSHA, at least a million American workers suffer back injuries in the workplace each year. Back injuries form a quarter of all workers’ compensation payments in the country, causing a great deal of suffering and hardship to workers. Activities that involve bending and twisting of the body like lifting, carrying, and lowering are the most likely to result in back injury.
Ways to Prevent Back Injuries
Your employer should incorporate systems to protect you from back injuries, including:
- Appropriate strength testing to determine the maximum load an individual can carry
- Access to physical training programs to help develop strength in back muscles
- Proper training in lifting and carrying techniques that minimize pressure on the lower back
- Mechanical lifting and carrying equipment
- Safety equipment to prevent injury or strain
- Compact size of and appropriate handles on loads that need to be carried
Neck Injuries & Strains
Neck injury can occur as a result of repetitive movements that place enormous strain on the neck and shoulder area. Physical activities that call for a static load to be placed in the neck and shoulder region, repeated movements of the arms and shoulders, or postures that strains the muscles of this region lead to long-term neck injuries. Moreover, the use of vibrating tools like drills or electric saws can put pressure on the musculoskeletal system.
Ways to Prevent Neck Injuries & Strains
It is up to your employer to inform you of the dangers of neck injuries and provide you with safety equipment so you aren’t at risk. In cases where you have already suffered back injuries from your job, you should be compesated for the medical care you receive and any loss in wages endured as a result. In addition, long-term injuries that cause you to take time off or work fewer hours deserve compensation for the loss of earning capacity.
Here’s what should be provided:
- Identification of the kinds of repetitive tasks that put you at risk of back injuries
- Training in the correct techniques to minimize risk
- Allowance for regular breaks from repetitive tasks to alleviate neck pressure
- Sufficient light in the work area
- Recognition of the early signs of neck injury development and proper steps take to minimize those effects before the condition worsens