4905 S. National Avenue, Suite A128 | Springfield, Missouri 65810
Back injuries are one of the top workplace injuries every year. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), back injuries make up one out of every five injuries in the workplace. The majority of these, around 80%, impact the lower back and are associated with manual materials handling tasks. Middle, upper and disc injuries are also common workplace back injuries.
It is easy to see that back injuries at work are a serious issue, but what can be done about it? While it is up to your employer to provide a safe environment, ensure safe processes are in place and provide safety equipment, there are also steps you can take as a worker.
The following tips can help you protect your back from workplace injuries.
1. Never ignore your instinct. If something appears too heavy to lift or if a situation seems risky, step back and alert your manager. It takes a moment of indecision to create a potentially life-long injury that greatly impacts your quality of life.
2. Pay attention to safety equipment and check it daily. Safety equipment that is damaged by wear and tear is no longer protecting you. If something seems to be worn or ineffective, immediately alert your manager.
3. Consider warming up and stretching before your shift if you do work that is physical or requires repeated upper body movements. Just a few minutes of stretches can get your muscles warm and help prevent some types of back injury.
4. Make sure you and your coworkers know all safety procedures. It is not enough for you to know and follow them if your coworkers are not as careful. It just takes one person to create a dangerous situation for everyone. If your workplace seems unclear on safety procedures, or does not regularly reinforce them, talk with management about your concerns.
5. Make sure you follow correct lifting procedures, even when you are in a hurry. There are small steps you can take to reduce your chances for back injury. These aren’t burdensome or time consuming, and they could keep you from suffering a serious back injury. Learn more about proper lifting technique here.
6. Last but not least, report safety violations. If you see safety violations of any kind, from unclear walkways to failing to use safety equipment, report them. The way your entire team treats safety impacts you, so do not let anybody’s negligence leave you with a lifelong injury!
We all know that preventing accidents and injuries is best, but injuries can still happen. If you are injured on the job and do not know what to do, give us a call at 417.888.0000 to schedule a free consultation. This is an easy and no-obligation way to get insight into your situation and learn about your options and how to protect your rights under Missouri law.
4905 S. National Avenue, Suite A128
Springfield, Missouri 65810