If you work in a field that requires you to exert physical energy on a daily basis, then you probably have overexerted yourself at least once while completing a task. The reality is, many workers will often go to great lengths just to get the job done, even if that requires them to stress and strain their body. One area of the body that generally takes the brunt of the stress is the back. Some of the most common causes of back pain at work include:
- Force. The Mayo Clinic says that if you exert too much force on your back, which might include lifting or moving objects that are heavy, it can lead to you suffering an injury.
- Repetition. If you continuously repeat certain movements such as twisting or rotating your spine, you are more likely to injure your back.
- Inactivity. Although most injuries occur when an individual possesses a laborious position, there is still the potential to injure your back even if you aren’t moving around. For example, desk jobs and others that contribute to you having poor posture such as having to sit in a chair all day without adequate back support can cause you to suffer a back injury.
Now, although many of the physical conditions employees find themselves faced with are often attributed to them not taking the proper precautions while on the job, some are brought on when an employer requires a worker to complete a task without providing them with the proper equipment. This, in turn, can lead to them suffering an injury. And if you recently injured yourself or sustained any other type of injury that you believe could have been prevented had your employer given you the necessary equipment or put you through training, then you will want to look into filing a personal injury lawsuit as well as obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
It would also be in your best interest to contact Albuquerque, NM personal injury attorney Brian K. Branch, who specializes in handling back injury cases. The reason you will want to consult with a lawyer is not only to be sure your employer is providing you with the benefits you are entitled to but also to find out if there is other compensation out there that you can recover as well. If you are interested in finding out how much your back or other work-related injury entitles you to collect, contact the Law Office of Brian K. Branch at 505-207-4401.
How can I prevent a back injury at work?
The Mayo Clinic shares some helpful tips on ways to reduce your chances of sustaining an injury while on the job all of which we are sharing with you below. These tips are beneficial for those who are looking to avoid an injury or even those who may have already suffered a back injury at work and are now working toward recovering.
- Pay attention to your posture. It is important that if you are standing, that you “balance your weight evenly on your feet” and avoid slouching. If your job requires you to sit, be sure the chair you are sitting in promotes good posture. Aside from that, be sure your feet are able to rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Lift properly. If your job requires you to lift heavy objects, “lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body” and “maintain the natural curve of your back.” It is never a good idea to twist when you are lifting nor is it to attempt to lift something that is too heavy for one person to manage. In the event there are lifting devices available, then use them.
- Modify repetitive tasks. If you are required to sit at a computer for long periods of time each and every day, be sure all the things you need are placed in an area that prevents you from having to lean or slouch. While you may be required to complete the same type of tasks on a daily basis, you are encouraged to find ways to modify them so that you don’t place the same stress and strain on the same areas of your body.
- Listen to your body. If your body begins to feel achy or uncomfortable, make changes to your routine. For example, if you must sit for prolonged periods of time, change your position or stand and stretch occasionally so that you can relieve your muscles of the tension they are experiencing.
Now, as we mentioned above, while most of the injuries a person sustains at work at often preventable as they are caused by a worker’s own behavior, there are times when an employer can be held accountable. In the event you feel your employer was responsible for causing you to sustain an injury at work, contact our office and allow us to assess your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation and how much.