Do You ‘Have Your Employees’ Backs’ When It Comes to Back Safety Training?

April 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Just because back injuries are the most common types of injuries, they don’t have to keep your employees laid up.
Back injuries are among the most common types of injuries: Nearly four out of five adults will experience a back injury at some point in their lives. Back injuries are also expensive, costing as much as $100,000 for a single injury, and time-consuming, keeping workers off the job for longer than the average work-related injury.
Preventing back injuries in your workplace is one of the most effective cost-control and productivity-enhancing efforts you can undertake. Training workers in back safety is an important part of that effort.
Background on back injury prevention
Who needs to be trained? It’s a good idea to train any employee performing a job, process, or operation in which more than one employee has suffered a work-related repetitive motion injury (RMI), such as a back injury.
Why train workers in back injury prevention? Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), a category that includes back injuries, account for more than half of American employers’ spending on all work-related injuries and illnesses. Preventing back injuries can improve productivity and minimize these losses.
Practical Tip
Back injuries can also be caused by a single traumatic incident like a slip-and-fall incident. To prevent this type of injury, keep work areas free of hazards, such as slick or cluttered floors.
Basics of back injury prevention
If job tasks in your workplace are known to contribute to back injuries, go over the preventive measures you have put in place to address them. If you have mechanical aids in your workplace, explain them thoroughly.
When your back hurts, do you think you’re just getting older? That’s probably not the cause of the problem—it’s likely an injury. Do you also think that your back will “always hurt” now? That’s also not likely—most back injuries fully heal within weeks if appropriately treated.
Causes of back injuries
If any of these risk factors are part of your job—or your recreational activities, or your chore list at home—you could be putting yourself at risk of a back injury:
• Reaching while lifting
• Staying in one position for long periods of time or staying in a bent posture
• Repetitive lifting of awkward items, equipment, or people (as in healthcare or childcare facilities)
• Twisting while lifting
• Bending while lifting
• Heavy lifting
• Lifting with forceful movement
• Whole-body vibration, such as that experienced by lift truck drivers and delivery drivers

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