Preventing a back injury is much easier than repairing one. Because your back is critically important to your ability to walk, sit, stand, and run, it's important to take care of it. Most back pain arises from using your back improperly, so learning a few basic rules about lifting, posture and proper exercise can help keep your back in good shape. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees.
We tend to take our backs for granted until we are in pain! Statistics show that such strains are the most common among workers. Back problems are costly. This includes taking off precious work time. Medical experts say that back injuries have little to do with the weight of the lifted objects and everything to do with how they are lifted. Moreover, though lifting, placing, carrying, holding and lowering are involved in manual materials handling (the principal cause of compensable work injuries) the BLS survey shows that four out of five of these injuries were to the lower back, and that three out of four occurred while the employee was lifting.
Nearly 80% of people will experience some type of back injury during their lifetime. This very common injury is caused by activities both on and off the job. Common causes of back injuries include lifting, twisting and reaching.
National Safety Compliance has developed this training video and materials to assist employers in training their workers about back safety.
The video is 12 minutes and addresses the major areas needed to comply with the standard, including:
- Structure of the back
- Common back problems
- Proper lifting techniques
- Proper posture
- Maintaining a healthy back