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Back injuries are the most common work injury

When people think of workers' compensation, they usually think of slips, falls, overexertion and repetitive motion injuries. All are true, and back pain may be the consequence from any of them. After the common cold, back pain is one of the main reasons Americans miss work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that transportation, retail and construction are the top three industries for back injury. It's frequent in labor-focused jobs, but back pain runs the gamut of professions from grocery work to office settings to masonry and piano movers.

How to prevent injury

Preventative measures are well known, but they are easier said than put into practice. Different scenarios sometimes call for different preventative measures, but back injury is avoidable by following a few primary rules, which include:

  • Stretching before and after an exercise or lift
  • Lifting with one's legs, bending the knees and keeping your back straight, while lifting or carrying a heavy object
  • Seeking assistance or special equipment when necessary
  • Utilizing an ergonomic workspace
  • Maintaining good health and fitness

It sounds simple, but when hurrying to finish a job or faced with the inconvenience of seeking help, many people will move an object on their own without following proper technique. It only takes a single instance to strain a muscle, sprain a ligament or herniate a disc and that 30 seconds of labor can cost weeks away from work and a lot of discomfort.

What are ergonomics?

There is a growing emphasis on ergonomic injury, which is when the injury is the result of a workplace posture or setup. Laborers and movers, nursing assistants, janitors, truck drivers, registered nurses and maintenance workers have the high rates of ergonomic injury.

The biggest threats are the ones you face every day and it's often a thoughtless or quick decision that can hurt you. If injured, don't despair. Back pain is a common workplace injury and treatment is a workers' compensation claim away.

If you've been injured and don't know where to turn, a workers' compensation attorney can help file your claim and recommend an unbiased doctor.

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