Pennsylvania workers can suffer injuries to any part of their bodies when they are on the job, but back injuries are particularly common. Back injuries can occur at any job, but especially with jobs involving physical exertion such as lifting, moving, and turning. If one does happen, it can result in lost time and costly medical treatment, and leave unanswered questions about the future.
Recognizing the risk of back injury and its impact on work
Statistically, back injuries comprise one-quarter of all work injuries. For those who work in labor-intensive jobs that include lifting, repetitive movements, twisting, and rotating, there is a greater risk. Lifting even small weights incorrectly and repetitively is a major risk. Injuries can occur not only to the lumbar spine, but also the cervical and thoracic spine as well.
Nurses attempting to move a patient without assistance can easily injure their backs. Construction workers whose duties involve pushing, pulling, lifting, bending, and other arduous physical tasks are also vulnerable, especially they ignore their safety training. Warehouse and dock workers, and people who load and unload trucks, and delivery drivers, unfortunately can hurt their backs. Despite the prevalence of back injuries in physical jobs, those in sedentary jobs can also suffer the same fate. Sitting for an extended period can cause stiffness, bad posture and eventual back problems.
A back injury can prevent people from performing their normal duties at work or render them unable to work at all. It is vital to let the employer know what is happening and to seek treatment. Injuries from work should be compensated with a workers’ comp claim for wage loss and medical treatment, whether or not you are required to take time off to recover.
To recover, it is wise to have a full assessment and to be compliant with the doctor’s recommendations. Medical care and lost wages are an understandable concern and knowing the process to apply for and receive workers’ comp benefits is an essential step.
Injured workers will face a litany of challenges
Even if workers maintain a healthy lifestyle, are vigilant about proper lifting techniques and are fit, they can still unexpectedly suffer a workplace back injury. Along with physical pain, these issues can also lead to fear and worry about what will happen. Prevention is a key step, but it is also beneficial to know the available options and to seek professional assistance immediately. Call a certified specialist workers’ compensation lawyer to learn about your rights if you suffer any injury at work.