A back injury can be a nightmare for an injured worker, limiting mobility and leading to constant and intense pain.
Back injuries at work are quite common. It can be a nightmare for the worker, limiting mobility and leading to constant and intense pain. The worker may require extensive treatment and prolonged therapy. The worker may no longer be able to earn a living or to return to the work he or she previously enjoyed.
Back Injuries Are Musculoskeletal Disorders
A musculoskeletal disorder is defined as pain that affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These disorders can result from regular wear and tear or by traumatic events such as a workplace accident. Back injuries, which are caused by repetitive motion, such as bending or lifting or those sustained in a fall, are classified as musculoskeletal disorders.
Workplace Back Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), back injuries are among the most commonly cited reasons for missed work in the United States. In 2013, there were 212,080 back injuries reported by workers in the private industry and local and state governments. The average number of days off work caused by back injuries was seven days.
High Risk Jobs for Back Injuries
Back injuries can happen to any worker, whether a construction laborer or office worker. However, some jobs present a greater risk of back injuries when compared to others. Musculoskeletal disorders accounted for almost 33 percent of injury and illness cases that required workers to take time off work in 2013. Of these, 53 percent were nursing assistants. Laborers and freight, material, and stock movers also reported high rates of MSDs.
Factors that Increase the Risk of Back Injuries
According to OSHA, back injuries are often caused by exceeding the capability of the muscles, discs, or tendons, or by the cumulative effect of several factors. Some of the leading factors include:
- twisting, bending, and reaching while lifting
- lifting heavy objects or with “forceful movement”
- poor posture while sitting or standing
- repeated lifting of equipment or patients
- poor footing
- poor body mechanics and ergonomics
- exposure to vibration from equipment
- stress and fatigue
Symptoms of Back Injuries
When someone suffers a back injury at work, the signs and symptoms show up right away. The symptoms may include pain when standing from a seated position or when trying to assume a normal posture. It may also cause a decrease in mobility.
Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you think you have suffered a back injury at work, report it to your supervisor or employer immediately and see a doctor without delay. Back injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. If you face any difficulty in getting the benefits you deserve, talk to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.