All workers deserve to have a workplace that’s as safe as possible. One specific aspect that must be controlled is the risk of back injuries. These can be very serious and can lead to considerable time off work, but they are also widely preventable with proper measures. It is up to the employers and not the employees to ensure that safety standards are put into place and upheld.
Improper lifting techniques and insufficient safety training are two primary causes of back injuries. Employers can help to prevent injuries from those two causes by instituting training as soon as employees are hired, but they also need to include periodic refresher courses for all employees.
Another factor for many back injuries is trying to rush to meet tight deadlines. When possible, the employer should encourage employees to slow down a bit and pay more attention to ergonomics, body mechanics and similar factors. Frustration and stress can also lead to employees suffering from injuries, so minimizing these can also help.
A skewed perception of risk might also lead to this problem. Even though it might seem as though this is an issue that would place the liability on the employee, it isn’t. The onus is still on the employer to ensure that all employees know the risks they face with each job duty they perform.
Employees who suffer a back injury at work can turn to workers’ compensation for benefits that include coverage of medical bills related to the on-the-job incident. When they can’t return to work quickly, they might also be eligible for other benefits like partial wage replacement and vocational rehabilitation. If the necessary benefits are denied, appealing the decision might be in order.