Saturday, January 28, 2012

Preventing Work-Related Back Injuries

Back injuries are the most common work-related injuries we see in our Minnesota workers’ compensation law practice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for 1 in 5 workplace injuries/illnesses. Back injuries are painful and debilitating. After you’ve sustained a back injury, you’re more likely to suffer a re-occurrence or re-injury of your back in the future. 

Risk factors for back injuries include:
  • Improper lifting or lifting objects that are too heavy. 
  • Repetitive motions that lead to muscle fatigue and injury or gradual wear and tear. 
  • Poor posture while sitting, standing, or performing job activities. 
  • Stress, which can lead to muscle tension and back pain. 
  • Age-related wear and tear. 
  • Excess weight, which puts extra strain on the back. 
  • Presence of other diseases, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. 
  • Cigarette smoking which increases the risk of low back pain and slows healing of injuries.
Preventing work-related back injuries involves taking simple precautions. For example:
  1. Learning and using safe lifting techniques.
  2. Using mechanical lifting aids when possible. 
  3. Improving posture while sitting, standing, or performing work activities. 
  4. Using ergonomically-appropriate chairs, equipment, and materials to avoid awkward postures and reaching. 
  5. Changing positions frequently. 
  6. Taking mini-breaks, especially while performing repetitive tasks. 
  7. Minimizing bending and reaching. 
  8. Managing and reducing stress. 
  9. Maintaining a healthy weight. 
  10. Improving overall wellness by eating well, sleeping enough, and getting regular exercise.
  11. Adopting an exercise routine focusing on strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. 
If you hurt your back at work in Minnesota, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including wage loss benefits, medical expense benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and/or rehabilitation benefits. Don’t let an on-the-job back injury ruin your health or your career. For a free, no-obligation Minnesota workers’ compensation case consultation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email


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