Rios Law Firm PLLC

Back injuries threaten workers in all industries

While workers in all sectors nationwide, including Arizona, face safety hazards that are unique to their industries, certain injury risks are present in all workplaces, regardless of the types of jobs workers do. A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that one in every four workers' compensation claims involve back injuries. Safety authorities say three-quarters of those injuries were suffered while the workers performed lifting tasks.

Employers are encouraged to teach workers proper lifting techniques to prevent all musculoskeletal injuries. Many workers never learn the importance of warming up their leg and back muscles before performing lifting tasks. Training must include light exercises to warm up the muscles in the lower back along with the hamstring and Achilles muscles. The next step should be assessing the object to be lifted.

It is crucial to look at the size, shape and weight before lifting an object, and workers should ask for help if it is too large or too heavy for one person to lift. When lifting anything, workers must focus on using their leg muscles instead of their back muscles. Using ergonomic equipment can prevent back injuries. These include forklifts, dollies, carts, conveyors and other lifting equipment. Some back injuries result from falls caused by slips or trips, and proper housekeeping can prevent these.

Single incidents can cause some types of back injuries, while others can develop over time of repetitive lifting. Arizona workers who suffer the consequences of back injuries must seek medical care and report the injuries to their employers as soon as possible. Leaving it too long before seeking treatment could cause long-term health consequences. The state-regulated workers' compensation program will cover all their medical expenses, and legal counsel can assist with the benefits claims. If the injuries cause lost workdays, the benefits might include wage-replacement packages.

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Rios Law Firm PLLC
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Phoenix, AZ 85012

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