Ohio workers whose jobs have caused them to develop back problems may be interested to know that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that one in five illnesses and injuries reported by more than 1 million members of the U.S. workforce involve back pain. This type of injury is often the cause of permanent impairment. Authorities say the common cold is the only cause of lost work days that exceeds the number of days missed due to back problems.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has no regulations related to ergonomics management to prevent back injuries. However, the agency encourages employers to assess work areas for implementation of ergonomic changes that may reduce potential strains, sprains and other musculoskeletal injuries. Ergonomic programs involve designing jobs, equipment and workstations to fit the employees and their physical capabilities.

Improper techniques used for lifting, moving and carrying of objects are primary causes of back injuries. Using the wrong techniques can cause strains, which happen when muscles are overstretched or overused, or sprains that occur when sudden movements cause tears in ligaments. A common back injury caused by improper lifting techniques is a herniated disk. This happens when the cushioning between vertebrae deteriorates due to strain — and sometimes age.

When workplaces are not ergonomically safe, the repeated stress placed on the backs of workers can lead to permanent impairment. This condition may require ongoing medical treatment with mounting costs. Proving a back problem to be work-related might be challenging, and the skills of an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney might be necessary to assist with the navigation of benefits claims for coverage of medical expenses and lost income.

Source: blr.com, “Back Safety in the Workplace“, Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018