The Bureau of Labor Statistics says over one million workers in California and across the country suffer injuries to their backs each year. According to the bureau, these injuries make up one in five reported workplace injuries. Understandably, this also reflects in the workers’ compensation claims that injured workers file each year.
According to safety authorities, all those whose jobs require them to lift or carry heavy objects are at risk of suffering back injuries that could have long-term health consequences. As a part of the responsibilities of employers to protect the health and safety of workers, safety training must include proper lifting techniques to prevent back injuries. Furthermore, ways must be found to eliminate the need for workers to lift heavy objects.
Engineering controls that could prevent back injuries include conveyor belts and mechanical lifting devices. Furthermore, employers are advised to match lifting jobs with workers with the necessary physical abilities and, even then, establish administrative control. Setting up a buddy system that will eliminate the need for workers to lift heavy objects on their own can be useful.
Regardless of all the precautions, eliminating all back injuries is almost impossible. Victims of workplace injuries in California are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help them with the medical expenses and lost wages that might follow. Dealing with the claims process could be daunting, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable support and guidance along every step of the way. In cases in which injuries cause permanent disability, the insurance program might award additional benefits, such as vocational rehabilitation.