Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back Injuries Put A Strain on Workers and Employers

Tips for avoiding back strain ...

"Job related back injuries are a preventable affliction that affect workers and businesses across the country, adding up to billions of dollars in lost income, productivity, revenue and medical costs.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that back injuries account for almost 20% of all workplace injuries and illnesses. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor documented 112,380 injuries to the lumbar region of the back alone. According to the CDC, back injuries are costing the nation approximately $20 to $50 billion dollars per year.

Occupations at highest risk for back injuries include: warehouse workers, grocery store stock clerks, delivery men, furniture movers, airline baggage handlers and other professions requiring repetitive lifting which exerts excessive pressure on back muscles and the spinal column.

... Recommendations for back safety include

· Avoid excessive repetitive lifting. If a job requires a lot of lifting, take a few minutes in between lifts to shift and change positions
· Incorporate ergonomic training and use lifting techniques that place minimum stress on the lower back.
· Use as back belts and other safety equipment
· Remember, back belts won't allow a person to lift objects larger than their physical capacity.
· Physical conditioning or stretching programs to reduce the risk of muscle strain.
Remember, one hour of prevention is worth two weeks of workman's compensation."   (Continued via            [Ergonomics Resources]

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