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Are work-related back injuries preventable?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Back injuries can be a common occurrence in the workplace. These injuries can be debilitating and painful and could cause you miss workdays and lose income, impacting your overall quality of life. Fortunately, back injuries can be preventable.

Why back injuries happen at work

There are several reasons why back injuries occur on the job. Repetitive lifting, bending, twisting, or awkward postures can strain your muscles and spine. Jobs that involve prolonged sitting or standing can also lead to back problems.

Special rules for back injuries in North Carolina

According to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, back injuries are coverable work-related injuries. Unlike injuries to other body parts, back injuries don’t require a specific accident to be covered. If your back pain arose from a “specific traumatic incident” while doing your duties at work, you might be eligible for benefits. This could include anything from a sudden strain while lifting to pain developing over time from repetitive tasks.

Preventing back pain at work

Here are some steps you can take to protect your back on the job:

  • Proper lifting techniques: Learn and practice safe lifting techniques, like bending at the knees and keeping your back straight.
  • Maintain good posture: Avoid slouching while sitting or standing.
  • Take breaks: Get up and move around every 20-30 minutes to prevent stiffness.
  • Ergonomics: Adjust your workstation to fit your body and ensure proper back support.
  • Don’t ignore early signs of pain: Don’t ignore back pain. Let your supervisor know and seek medical attention if needed.

Remember your health is a priority. By following these tips and being proactive, you can significantly reduce your risk of a back injury at work.

If you do experience a back injury, report it immediately to your employer and seek medical attention. A qualified workers’ compensation professional may also help you understand your rights and navigate the claims process.