Many back injuries are preventable, especially when they occur at work. Employers who genuinely care about their employees will put in the effort to make sure that they minimize the risk of unnecessary back injuries — and that can also positively affect their company’s bottom line by reducing workers’ compensation claims, work delays and absenteeism.
The more common causes of back injuries in the workplace are fairly well-known, so employers can mitigate the risks to their workforce through these simple steps:
Make sure every employee has adequate safety training
All employers must provide employees with proper training on how to handle job tasks that have a risk of back injury. This includes providing reminders about proper posture and ergonomic procedures. Lifting techniques and other safety protocols need to be taught to every new hire and reinforced periodically whenever management sees lapses.
Keep an adequate number of staff members on duty at all times
Rushing to meet deadlines or finish tasks before taking off work can lead to injuries. Employees must be provided with an appropriate amount of time to complete all their job tasks so that they aren’t tempted to take shortcuts with their safety.
Give employees the equipment they need to preserve their health
Ergonomic chairs for office workers, gait belts for nursing aides and braces for factor workers aren’t mere luxuries — they’re necessities. Employers need to invest in the safety equipment and ergonomic devices their employees need for their industry.
Any employee who suffers a back injury, including cumulative trauma injuries, can obtain medical care and wage replacement benefits from workers’ compensation — but employers and their insurance companies aren’t always willing to pay up. If your back injury claim with workers’ comp has been denied, you may need to speak with an attorney.