Prevent Back Injuries at Work

Back injuries can occur whether an employee sits at a desk all day or does manual labor on a jobsite. Safety and health of employees should be a top priority for companies. Prevention is key to keeping employees healthy and working. Back injuries tend to dominate the majority of long-duration claims, according to Concentra, a health and wellness company with 312 urgent care and occupational medicine centers in over 40 states. Six leading causes of back injury: Traumatic events Poor posture Poor physical condition Improper body mechanics Lifting awkward objects Assuming awkward positions Share the following lifting techniques and body mechanics provided by Concentra with all your employees to help prevent possible back injuries: Plan your lift mentally before you do it physically Test the object's weight before lifting it. If you will need to carry the object any distance, check that you have a clear walking path Ask for assistance from a co-worker when appropriate Use the stronger leg muscles by bending the knees, not the back Support the back by maintaining 'core' strength with the abdominal muscles Maintain a neutral lumbar spinal curve Keep the object close to the body Avoid twisting and bending Avoid rapid, jerky movements Maintain good balance by keeping the feet apart approximately shoulder width Remember to breathe In addition, Concentra suggests a few other keys to a healthy back: Change positions frequently to avoid prolonged and awkward postures Take time to think about your work tasks and determine if there is a better, safer way of doing them with less risk Warm up and stretch prior to heavy physical exertion Regular exercise is the best way to avoid problems with your back, and is the key to recovery from simple strains, aches, and pains you might experience If you do encounter back pain, maintain normal activity as much as possible, even when in pain, and avoid bed rest