Back pain and injuries are common causes of creating problems among working adults. Nearly 4 in 5 individuals report lower back pain. It is the most common cause of work-related disabilities, injuries, and a major contributor to taking several days off work.
Being an employer, you need to ensure that your employees are physically fit while at work. This can be done with adequate workplace assessment and finding the root cause of the problem.
This blog post will explore what are the major reasons behind back injuries and pain at work and how to prevent and create a safe workplace for all.
The Nature of Back Injuries
Whether it is dull, achy, or sharp, back pain and injuries can make it difficult for a person to do the job safely. Numerous occupations and industries like construction, healthcare, agriculture, or manufacturing can put physical demands on working individuals.
The nature of back injuries may vary depending on the type of work and the environment it is conducted in.
Disease, heavy lifting, poor posture, and repetitive tasks are some of the activities injuring muscles and ligaments. Undertaking such work in an inappropriate environment, unsafe working conditions, and without proper knowledge and information can cause the muscles in the lower back to be torn or strained. These issues may result in problems like mild soreness to acute back pain.
Backache and ailments are a major concern for businesses and employers as these issues if not taken into consideration on time can result in employees taking sick leaves, reducing staff efficiency, increasing sickness absences as well as putting legal implications on businesses and their owners.
Major Causes of Back Injuries in the Workplace
Several things can factor in when it comes to back pain, injuries, or ailments. But the major contributors to the risk of injury are:
- Improper Lifting Techniques
The most common yet major reason for backaches and injuries is improper or unsafe lifting techniques. For this very reason, employers need to raise awareness among their staff members and workforce undertaking lifting and loading operations on a daily.
Firstly, the workplace needs to be properly assessed for any unsafe working conditions or environment a worker is conducting work. Secondly, they must be well aware of proper lifting, handling, and loading their weight so that the risks can be reduced to their minimum.
- Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive tasks or motion is also one of the leading causes of back injuries. Repeating certain movements over and over again that involve twisting or rotating the body can also cause certain injuries to the workers.
Incorrect or awkward posture can also create several health issues without workers knowing. Sitting in the same posture for longer periods, not focusing on the proper lifting or handling practices, or having slouched working postures are some of the reasons back pain could occur.
Things to do to Prevent Back Injuries in the Workplace
There are surely many effective ways to implement at work that may help control and minimize the problem. Some of these are:
- Change the Repetitive Tasks
Implementing alternative ways is the best approach to prevent the risk of injuries. It is recommended to minimize the tasks completely that require repetitive motion and if necessary proper information with adequate measures must be provided to their workers to do their job safely.
- Watch Out for the Working Posture
Bad or inappropriate posture puts extra strain and stress on the muscles and ligaments leading to back pain over time. It is not easy to identify these issues easily, as they develop over time. However, if workers are aware of the health hazards and implement the right safety precautions, the risk can be mitigated.
- Implement Safe Lifting Practices
This is one of the important things to think about safe lifting practices to possibly reduce the risk during lifting. Never lift with your lower back pain. It is recommended to have a firm grip on the item, bend the knees, and lift while keeping the back straight.
What’s More to do?
Along with having a good understanding of health and safety risks associated with poor handling, back ailments, and preventive approaches, employers need to arrange proper training sessions for their staff members. These training sessions should consist of manual handling training, back care and postural training, sickness absence training, or workplace stress training courses. These may help prevent major injuries to occur at work.
Several things can put stress or strain on human bodies that lead to mild to severe injuries. The best way to do so is to identify the problem in the workplace and implement safety controls to ensure everyone’s safety.
Proper information, training, and guidance are also necessary to increase staff efficiency. This blog has covered some of the things individuals need to be aware of.